Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Speech

Last week I was asked to say "a few words" about my boss at a Leadership Meeting where she was being recognized for her 20 years of service.  I decided to tell it like it is...

What can you say about a boss who gives you a unicycle for Christmas? 

It really wasn’t until I attempted to mount that unicycle that I started to wonder if she was trying to get rid of me. 

But then I came to my senses and realized that she probably didn’t want an employee to go out on Short-Term Disability, and that she just had very high expectations of me.  

She figured that anyone who could jump rope and pogo stick at the same time certainly could learn how to ride a unicycle.

So I started watching you-tube videos:  "How to mount a unicycle", "How to ride a unicycle", "How to juggle while riding a unicycle".  

But there was one video missing.   “How not to go on Short-Term Disability while learning to ride a unicycle.” 

That unicycle is a metaphor for Cathy’s leadership.  First she has high expectations for her team.  But more importantly, she is the kind of leader who inspires you to succeed .  

And I really wanted to succeed on that unicycle to make Cathy proud.  

But, in the end, I place more value on my healthy bones than on making Cathy proud.  And my unicycle remains parked in my hallway where I can safely ride it, with my hands touching both sides of the wall as I proudly pedal onward.

I thoroughly enjoy working with Cathy and am thrilled that she has been with this company for 20 years. 

But I will not be here for 20 more years if I keep trying to ride that damn unicycle.

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