Dear God, please have someone show up, other than our moms.
That was my wish and my prayer the night before the Governor's Lean Transformation conference when I had visions of my friend and colleague Joe Vansykle and I presenting to a room, alone. Well, except for my mom. And Joe's mom.
Dear God, please don't have me cry before this thing even starts!
That was my wish and my prayer as I was talking to a friend before the presentation started. You know that feeling of holding your sh*t together and then you see someone that cares about you? I was doing just fine until I saw his familiar, friendly face. In that moment, I felt relaxed and safe and supported. He said, "I believe in you." And I believed him.
Dear God, please stop my knees from shaking or I am pretty sure I am going to fall down.
That was my wish and prayer as Joe opened the presentation (he was brilliant by the way!). I've done presentations before but I don't remember ever being this nervous. Or this excited. My knees were shaking so much I had to sit down. And even then I noticed the water was shaking so much in the bottle I was holding that I had to put that down too. A friend who was sitting next to me noticed and leaned over and said "Just breathe. You've got this."
Dear God, please let me say what needs to be said. Oh, and please don't let me vomit from nerves in front of all of these nice people.
That was my wish and prayer as I walked toward the stage and Joe handed me the microphone. We had spent hours pouring our hearts and souls into the workshop and wanted so badly for it to be value-added.
Dear God, thank you for that. Please give me a chance to do that again. And soon!
That was my wish and prayer as I left the conference having talked to dozens of people who were impacted by the workshop. To all of you who found me in the hallway, in the coffee line, and in the bathroom (a little awkward but totally fine!), please know that I heard you.
I heard your stories and I remember. I remember that you're in a leadership role and wish you weren't. I remember that your husband and daughter haven't talked for years. I remember that you cried when you read your 360 report from your team. I remember that you felt so depressed this morning you weren't going to come to this conference but your wife convinced you to go. I remember.
Thank you for sharing your stories with me and for letting me share my story with you.
Amy Leneker, MPA, is a joy-seeking, optimistic recovering perfectionist and the founder of Compass Consulting Team.