Over the past two days, I have had the opportunity to find out what I am known for in the way I run my career. It was interesting mostly because I had not realized just how much some of the details of my life had made an impression on others.
First thing. Yesterday I, a fellow faculty member, and a staff member had a lunch with some students. It seems like whenever I have a lunch with a relatively small group of students, running comes up. I guess that should not surprise me given how much of a part of my life running is. And students know that. One student was surprised that I made an effort to get a "less than 600 calorie entree". And my colleagues know that. What was interesting though was a comment after lunch when I was speaking with the fellow faculty member and staff member about my running. My fellow faculty member asked if I'd gotten in my run yesterday. I commented that I had, and the staff member commented on how much people know I am an early morning runner. In fact, the staff member pointed out that she had gotten emails from me very early, then noticed a pause, and then another set of emails. The pause was my run. It was just fascinating to me to see how much the rhythm of my day is noticed by my coworkers. It makes me wonder whether anyone ever plans around that. And if I ever stopped exercising so much how would that change the relationship I have with my colleagues. Right now people know I'm up very early but there will be a break. If I were just going straight on through that would lead to a different work flow. If nothing else, if and when I stop running so much and so regularly, I should make sure to communicate to others how that will change the work flow. Clear communication about changes in process is clearly a best business practice.
The other thing that caught my attention was a former student posting on social media that she she traveling to a meeting "Kevin Frick-style". This was to indicate going to a meeting and back on the same day. (Although she did point out that in her case at least she was staying in country compared to my recent trip to Ireland and back in 30 hours.) Again, people have taken note of the way that I work. My goal of planning trips in the shortest time possible has clearly defined my professional life to date. I've been all sorts of places with very little sight seeing. I doubt I will ever (at least as long as I have kids at home) stop making trips as short as possible. But there may come a day. And that would be another change in business practice that I would need to communicate to my colleagues clearly. It would make it possible for me to see a lot more of the areas where I go for meetings. It would make the timing of professional meetings less hectic. It would allow me to be less stressed as long as I could keep up with communication with my colleagues while away.
So, looking ahead, it will be interesting to see if ten years from now I am known for the same things. If not, what will I be known for? And how will I communicate effectively to colleagues about how my habits affect the way that I do business and can do business with colleagues.