By Kelly Swanson
Welcome to all the new On-Demand students that are getting started and a heartfelt shout out to everyone who is studying hard and getting prepared for finals for their quarters. We all experience tough times, whether it be financial, business, or personal. It is through these experiences that we grow, mature, and learn. This author has had a rough life experience this past week and still keeps moving forward. Those of you who know the author know about this, and how it can affect a person’s work. What makes a team is the silent help that comes out of nowhere. It is that email of encouragement, the social posting that inspires, or a call with a warm message. We are all a part of a cohesive unit, and we strive everyday to make our lives work, but unfortunately life likes to be as random as possible. As I mentioned, so ironically in a past article, it’s what life throws at you and your ability to dodge it or catch it that makes you who we are today.
When you see a teammate fall, stop and pick them up. Catch them without asking; carry them when they need it most. The real team is the one that doesn’t wait to help, but rather pushes the bystanders out of the way and lifts as hard as they can. This author’s team has done some heavy lifting these past few weeks. Their arms are tired, and they’re feeling pressure from all sides. Some want to give it up, take their troubles, call it quits, and go home. Don’t. Don’t ever give up. Go farther; go faster, like a bullet; aim higher till the pain becomes numb and you will succeed. This is what life is all about. It’s about making the trouble less troublesome. Support your friends, alumni, colleagues and they will support you. When the chips are down all will rise to the occasion and be proud.
The way you work is usually the way you live. When you aspire to do great things you usually will rise to the occasion and work with the best and the brightest that you can find. As a business leader you don’t want to succumb to the mistakes made by those who look up to you. If you’re stumped who do you turn to? You’re the leader. In time, you will build an arsenal of friends that serve to make your life whole. Alumni meet those criteria. Your alumni will help you if you let them. Some rules for how you interact with an alumnus also come into play. When you reach out to the T-Bird alumni don’t expect them to have all the answers, but they may know someone, who knows someone, and that’s how a network works. It’s rarely the first person you call who has the answers. Usually a professor might know someone personally because they stayed in touch. You can always start there. Also, Thunderbird has regional Alumni directors that can assist you when you need to find help outside of your city or even country. Check out the new Thunderbird iPhone app. It has a directory to help you find the alumnus in that particular region. Because your a global leader with a proven track record, and your alumni has already been in the field, you can bet that they have experienced the same frustration you are and looking for a solution too.
Just like your Regional Business Experience that you enjoyed, you must learn about the region that your alumnus is in to see if their answer may pertain to your problem. An employee from Zimbabwe may not have had the same problems you’re experiencing in Las Vegas. Two different cultures divide even the simplest of management problems. Helping to understand your alumni, and how they may help you is all in the way you present the problem. You might want to start with an email introducing yourself. It always helps to do your research too. You don’t want to ask an alumnus from a software company to answer a question or solve a problem involving the manufacturing logistics of a chocolate company. Like a mechanic, you have to choose the right tool for the job. People are unique like the tools in your toolbox, and picking the right one, can make all the difference in the world. You have another family to help you at alumni.Thunderbird.edu so reach out to them. Have a great week T-birds and remember… the bird is the word!