“Let us make a pot of Tortilla Soup!” Not to worry, I have read about 28 different recipes and they are all great, but they all offered similar and different versions of the same dish. It was time to give dad a call. “Dad, how do I decide on a recipe?” “Just pick one,” he blurts out. I suggested a particular ingredient I felt would make the soup memorable. With annoyance in his voice he tells me, “Look… it’s time for you to make it your own way,” then he hangs up on me.
Now, in all fairness, I am the guy who will experiment on already known traditional dishes. My father always shook his head on my experimental cooking. I learned later that he heard me just say “BANANAS” instead of banana-peppers. He wanted no parts of my “banana tortilla soup.” After doing all this research at some point, I had to step out and trust that whatever ingredients I put into my pot would have to be good enough.
The phrase, “make it your own” really resonated with me
The jury may still be out on my banana-pepper tortilla soup… however the phrase, “make it your own” really resonated with me. And here is why… When I first started with the Regional Team I didn’t know the ropes. But I was eager to show off my skill-set right away. My supervisor said, “You have 3 weeks before you start teaching the material on your own. Good luck!”
This made me more ambitious to show the team I was ready. But I truly wasn’t ready. I would go on to make assumptions and mistakes as I navigated on my own. Nevertheless, I belong to the Regional Team and they are remarkable. Not enough can be said for their level of understanding and commitment to excellence they possess. These individuals each bring professionalism and a unique set of experiences to the table.
“If you want to go fast, go alone but if you want to go far go with others.”
With two weeks left, my side of the table still felt empty. My supervisor called me into the office to discuss my progress. “I was intimidated,” I explained. She said, “There is an old African proverb that says, “If you want to go fast, go alone but if you want to go far go with others.” I understood it wasn’t enough to be hired onto a great team but I had to belong to a great team as well. I began shadowing each team member learning what makes them great and as it would turn out there was a sea of knowledge to draw from due to the diversity within our team.
As time went on, I had been told that I do a great job of training others and I respect that compliment, but my achievements are not mine alone. My teammates played a part in my professional growth. But like that Tortilla Soup, I had to settle on which presentation techniques would work the best for me. As I shadowed, I took ingredients from each facilitator. I laid them all out on the table. I arranged them in such a way that I could see my own style. I finally made it my own!
The point of this blog would be to help you learn how to draw on the experiences from others within your circle. Creating your own network of influencers will help you climb to new levels in your career. Workforce Solutions can be apart of that network. When you have the time, read past blogs from our team and you will begin to understand. We are remarkable because we work together.
Richard Prather is a bi-lingual Regional Facilitator for Workforce Solutions. Richard combines 3 years of experience at Workforce Solutions with his Master’s degree, diverse experiences traveling abroad, and commitment to excellence in customer service to provide training to both customers and staff throughout the 13 counties of the Gulf Coast Region.