Since our return home from Saudi Arabia, (A place I once feared and had zero desire to move to.) I have been facilitating a series of workshops for students – sharing what day-to-day life was like while emphasizing critical life, leadership and people skills that they will need throughout their lives.
In each workshop students are given a visual of a natural process that will happen the rest of their lives – as they decide if they have the courage to leave their comfort zones or the grit to survive when life hands them circumstances they can’t control.
Some of the questions I’ve been asked about Saudi are worth sharing:
What was the best part?
- Living in an International Compound: Sharing life, friendship, and food with people from more than 50 nations and learning from them.
- Riding motorcycle with men and women from all over the world and getting to experience parts of Saudi that many expats don’t get to enjoy. (Yes – My motorcycle jacket had ½ of an abaya attached to it and could be rolled up when I was on the bike and rolled down when I was off the bike. Allowing me to be respectful and safe while enjoying time on the bike with my husband.)
- Vacationing in 11 countries besides Saudi and Bahrain in the 4 years we were there.
What was the hardest thing for you?
We’ve been back in the U.S. for nearly 6 weeks. Watching the divide we witnessed across the ocean. Aching as it appears to be growing deeper and wider.
I know I’m not alone in my concern for our country or in my desire to be a part of the solution. Several of my leadership connections have been sharing both struggles and wisdom in their blogs.
Alli Polin, Erin Schreyer, Steve Keating and Jesse Lyn Stoner have each written important articles to help us build bridges across that divide.
- Each of the image quotes below highlight something from their articles that I found especially powerful.
- Each of their original articles are linked after each image through their name.
If you are struggling with the current state of our union – I encourage you to:
- Read each one
- Watch the Conversation Safari video at the end of this post
And then make strategic choices to be the change you want to see
Real leaders know that they can’t fight every battle.
But their values are crystal clear long before they are faced with critical decisions. So when a situation demands it they don’t hide, cower or flock…
This post honors the stands of a REAL LEADER that spent several years working overseas.
- Offered solutions: By reminding peers and executives that they could SIGNIFICANTLY decrease expenses, and increase efficiency, effectiveness, customer retention and revenue by holding people accountable to policies that were already in place.
- Spoke the hard truth: By pointing to the root cause of issues instead of agreeing with popular thinking that only treated symptoms.
- Maximized the resources he had: By playing to his strengths and the strengths of his team and leveraging old assets he kept expensive and critical operations running for nearly an entire year without a budget.
We’re in the midst of waiting. Months and months of waiting…
- In September – We knew we were moving back across the ocean to the land we call home
- In October – The move was stopped and from morning to night and from day to day, what we were doing and when we were doing it changed, as things changed within the company
- In early November – we were moving again and it looked impossible not to be home for Christmas
- Then week after week and weekend after weekend – through Thanksgiving, and Christmas, our Anniversary and New Years we would do what we could do and then wait – on the company, the movers, the government and Harley Davidson
- 11 days ago – all of our household things were loaded into a container for overseas shipment
- 7 days ago – our motorcycle was crated and taken to our container
- It’s almost mid-January and we’re still waiting – for paperwork to clear so we can leave
The emotional roller coaster has been intense:
It’s Labor Day weekend in the United States. Labor Day was created to honor the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well being of our country.
It’s a good time to consider why you work.
- Do you do something you love?
- Are you working for a cause you care deeply about?
I hope so on both counts!
No matter how much you love your work or how much you believe in your cause, it’s a pretty safe bet that you are also working to generate the income needed to support your life.
So how is that going for you?
Is your job supporting your life? …Or is your life supporting your job?