Well… while we are “at war.”
Just back from Florida where I was a Military motivational speaker for the Air Force (Contracting Officers World Wide Convention — Destin, Florida.)
These folks do the buying and negotiating of all of the goods and services that the Air Force needs…. everything from sleeping bags to motorcycles to bullets to ping pong tables.
It was a really fun group for a number of reasons.
• The audience was great. I’m thinking that military groups are especially responsive because they all CHOOSE to be there. (Remember, it’s an all volunteer force.) Sure, people also choose to be part of corporate groups, but somehow it feels different. To me it felt like, for example, even the folks in the back row were excited to be there. (In corporate groups, often the back row is reserved for people to read the news paper and barely pay attention before they sneak out early. Not this group.
• I was so flattered to be given the Challenge Coin from Mr. Charlie Williams, the senior man there. This is a pretty big honor; I was flattered. (For you military folks, his official title is Deputy Assistant Secretary (Contracting) … and the Assistant Secretary (Acquisition).
• I got a standing ovation! How cool is that? The thrill of that never diminishes. (I hope not.)
• I met a wonderful contracting officer, Bill Johnson, who was my liaison… he drove me to/from the airport, and generally made me feel important. Kept calling me “Sir” even when I begged him not to. Called me a “DV” for distinguished visitor, something I joked about on stage. And generally treated me like…. a General. But best of all, he is a super friendly guy who loves his job, loves Florida, and loves meeting people.
• Best of all, got some heartfelt response from the audience afterwards. Their job is vital in a time of war. It is crazy busy, and often very stressful. Sometimes it just doesn’t seem like much fun. So when I encouraged them to do their best to “enjoy the ride” and to remember that even when they are working as hard as they are (and for high stakes as they are) they they are to always try to do their best to enjoy themselves.
I’m humbled and flattered to have been a motivational speaker for such an important and vital group ( who are serving our country in thousands of thankless ways) and that apparently, for a few at least, my message of humor and laughter was helpful.
Think I like my job? Nope. I love it.
Here is my contact, mr. Bill Johnson, and Mr. Charlie Williams, the big cheese of Contracting.