It was ten years ago next week that I was first promoted into a position where I was a leader of others.
Sure, I had been in positions of responsibility before. As a young man, my peers selected me as Patrol Leader in my Boy Scout Troop. Later, I was selected as the Senior Patrol Leader. It was a difficult and humbling experience to be responsible for other people. It was certainly not easy.
I earned my spending money as a teenager by umpiring softball games each night at the city park – and then, after turning eighteen, by refereeing basketball and volleyball games as well. Hell hath no fury like that directed at a referee in an Indiana High School Basketball game. But I digress.
Ten years ago next week I was promoted to lead a small team of men and women in Columbus, Indiana. And that was the beginning of quite an adventure. A year and a half later, I found myself without a team in Baltimore, Maryland as an investigator. And then, not even a year later, thrown to the wolves in New Jersey leading a much larger team that spanned several store locations. Then a year in Cleveland.
And then in 1999, we packed up and moved to Boston. And we’ve been here ever since.
When I arrived in Boston in January 1999, I was one of only a handful of employees of my company north of New York City. We were the vanguard that established the base, hired the people, trained the teams, and then started up a huge operation. Now there are thousands of us – and we’re still growing.
There have been tough spots along the way – stupid mistakes that I made, silly things I did, and dumb acts I committed that got me in hot water. But it was all for a good cause – and we’ve had a blast doing it. But now it’s time to move on.
Eight years in the same position and six years in one place is a long time – I stayed here for personal reasons, but also because it was fun. As a history buff, it’s tough to pull away from the place where our forefathers first marched against the British.. to walk the trail where Paul Revere road.. to stand at the bridge where the minutemen first confronted the British under arms.. to walk the deck of the USS Constitution.. to stare with respect at the grave of Sam Adams, and John Hancock, and many others….
On Thursday, I was promoted to a new position at our headquarters in Minneapolis. In less than two weeks, I head up into the great white north to take on an entirely new challenge: staffer. I’m going to be a project manager of sorts working on a couple initiatives. I’ll be commuting back and forth for a few months and then relocating permanently.
For ten years, I’ve led teams. Now I’m just going to be a part of one. That’s going to be a major change. No more office, now I’ll be in a cubicle. Gone is the casual dress code, back into suit and tie… things are certainly going to be different….
I expect the work to be difficult, highly challenging, creative, and have a major impact on what we’re doing. And that excites me. There are few feelings quite like taking a vision, breaking it down, and building that into something that we can execute – and that’s going to be alot of what I do in my new role. And I’m really looking forward to it.
But I will always miss my team. There’s never been a challenge in my life quite like leading a group of talented individuals. But I am so much the better for having worked with them. I’ll always be proud to have been a part of their team.