False Advertising

Culture: the arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively.

Workplace Culture: is the environment created by the concepts established and embraced by the firm and the employees alike.

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I attended coffee with a group that meets just outside of my office in the common area of the building.  It is a great group of entrepreneurs/business people, gathering on Thursday mornings, indulging in casual discussions.  We have an open forum with businesses volunteering to host (a.k.a. ‘bringing treats’).  Some attendees are regulars, yet there are always numerous new faces.  If you have ever attended any form of a coffee event, you know it is networking at it’s finest.  Your coffee cup gives your nervous hands a mission.  It is early in the morning, so in theory, your mind is fresh and so is your smile.  If you are not fully awake, caffeine consumption is heartily encouraged, so artificial energy is on it’s way to your muddled morning thoughts.  Coffee meetings are a significantly helpful platform for those of us practicing our ‘elevator pitch’, but that is another blog.

Our host today presented a topic for our discussion this morning.  ‘What is workplace culture?’  An excellent question…what is it?  I know what culture is.  What is workplace culture?  I pondered this while listening to the conversation around me.

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It did not take me long to piece together my past employment with the information provided.  How did I go from absolute love of a career path to the utter desolation of my sense of purpose?  Was it me?  Was it circumstances?  Was it management?  It suddenly became crystal clear, it was all of the above.  It wasn’t just one component of my career that was askew, it was the culture of my workplace, co-teachers, directors, administration, and of course, me.  The workplace was advertising a culture that did not match the actual workplace culture.  I did not fit into their workplace culture.  I could not lower my standards.  I could not limit my imagination.  I could not participate in destructive behavior.  I could, however, enhance who I was and encourage others to do the same.  In the end of my employment I was devastated that I was not ‘enough’ and it took me months to realize I was ‘enough’, what I was, was not is a good fit for that institution.  My love of teaching is not diminished, if anything, it has grown!

I now own Soul Experiences.  A small business, growing everyday and always looking forward to our future.  So how do I avoid creating workplace culture that does not honestly represent Soul Experiences’ culture?  Before I hire any employees, I can define what Soul Experiences’ culture truly is, I can exude that culture in my work and personal life, I can learn from the false advertising of my past, so I can flourish in my future.

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For more insight to Soul Experiences, check us out at www.soul-experiences.com

If you have more questions about your workplace culture please visit Marianne at www.work-warrior.com.

Travel well my friends!

Pastimes

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Bowling, fishing, biking, skiing, boating, knitting, scrapbooking,….the lists of pastimes could go on and on.  This past weekend I participated in a pastime that I have come to love, Cowboy Action Shooting.

I have not talked about this pastime very often in a public forum because I was raised to think quite differently about firearms. Society and the media have attempted to paint the issue of the 2nd Amendment in a black and white.  I still believe that the grey areas of this ongoing debate have yet to be determined.  I have no use for guns. I do not own a gun and believed there is absolutely no reason for anyone to own one.  I was raised with the belief that guns were created for one purpose and one purpose only, and that purpose has no place in my household.  Then I met him….

He came into my life as a friend, we started getting to know each other and then the most amazing thing happened to me, I fell in love with him.  He introduced me to this pastime/sport shortly after we met but it was another few years before I even attended a match. Looking back I am sure he tempted me with clothes!

For all the hesitance I displayed about firearms, I feel the exact opposite about costuming.  I love costuming!  It has been a lifetime, yes a lifetime (I literally have a black dress from my childhood that is now in my costume wardrobe) of building different costumes for various events.  I have enough costumes to start a small store.  If I don’t have what you might need to help you change your persona, I know enough similarly costume addicted individuals that can help us out.  So when I learned costumes were strongly encouraged and sometimes required for Cowboy Action Shooting I was intrigued.

 

I started this learning process as rigorously as I begin any unknown project….lots of research.  I read about the sport, the clothing, the era, and yes, the guns, with the same fervor of a law student preparing for the Bar Exam.  After months of study, I acquired a costume and took a very deep breath, ready to attend my very first Cowboy Action Shooting event (match).

I started out as an observer, watching the routines, the safety procedures, and of course, the fun.  Away from the matches with a private instructor, on a private range, I learned the fine art of safely handling the guns, specific to the sport.  I was then practice shooting after my instructors felt I was ready.  At the matches I was soon keeping score, counting misses, picking up brass and helping anywhere I could. Basically I was a full-fledged shootist without firing a gun.  Finally after a beautiful summer of Sundays at the range I decided I was ready for my first competition.

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This pastime has taught me another outlook on my belief structure. I feel the shootists I have met are celebrating a very volatile time in United States history.  Not all of history is peaceful, much of it is violent, but in amongst the tragedies there are stories of perseverance, dedication, love and heroism.  As a settler in the Wild West it was imperative to you and your families survival to use the best tools available to you, from wagon wheels to guns, your survival depended on your choices.  Cowboy Action Shooting allows the people of present day to celebrate another time and place that helped shape what this country is today.

I will not say my view on guns has changed drastically but my appreciation for another viewpoint has changed immensely.  I will continue to grow in this sport with a love of history and costuming to support my desire to learn everyday.

For more detailed information of this historical pastime go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cowboy_Action_Shooting with great links to CAS, SASS and NCOWS clubs.

Soul Experiences

I’m Alive!

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The stars don’t always align.

The fairy tales are just that, tales.

The wishing well is not responding.

My dreams are a frayed patchwork.

Somehow I am still here.

This world is still waiting for me.

I am alive!

I am not just existing.

I am living, growing, learning and knowing.

I am whole, or at least my version of whole.

This life is not easy but I will make it my own.

I am alive!

So bring me my next hurdle,

test,

trial,

roadblock,

I will endure and be better for it.

I am alive!