Get me Chris LeBeau
As I have reflected back on my career and personal history over recent months, I see an array of experiences: working in HR, strategic planning, healthcare, banking, in the nonprofit world and in Asia but the question I ultimately end at is, “what do all these skills and experiences make me uniquely qualified to do?" Put another way, what are the circumstances under which someone says, "Get me Chris LeBeau!" (h/t Akimbo podcast)
While I was with family over Thanksgiving my father said to me, “Do you think it would be possible to capture a majority of your skills, insights and knowledge you’ve collected over your career on paper at a high level so you could see it all at one time?" We began discussing what began to feel like a large project. Where do I even begin? Quickly making a complex thing simple he said to me, “I imagine as you write down one thought, it’ll trigger another and then another and so on and so forth.” When I took the plunge a couple days ago that is indeed what happened in the early hours.
Once free flowing ideas began to subside or subject areas were called out but still felt thin, I scanned my bookshelf, pulling several off reviewing passages I’d underlined and notes I’d made in the margins. After that I pulled up the reading app Pocket, which I used for years to store articles. Then I pulled up my Goodreads account and my podcast app, looking to jog my brain. I reviewed Netflix and Amazon queues for documentaries and TV shows that have moved me. Evernote may have been the most helpful of all. My writing practice has always begun in that application and when a person or theme came to mind, its search function was invaluable. After more than 12 hours of searching and scribbling, I began to review what I had captured and decided it was the bulk of what I was looking for.
This also marked the end of the fun part. Next was editing. A couple days later I took about 3.5 hours to transcribe everything from the giant post-its while attempting to categorize them under broader themes and remove redundancies. Four giant post-its became 4 pages of bullets, which when I printed them out, evolved into roughly 15 themes instead of the six I had initially created.
In the end though, bullets are not a cohesive way to speak and think so the final step of this process has been transforming the bullets into a story, which I will continue to iterate on but can be seen here.
It is my hope that this exercise overtime will generate greater clarity around what I stand for, am capable of and the situations under which I'll further build my own brand so I'll know the situations in which people say, "Get me Chris LeBeau!"
Go Forth Boldly