This spring and summer has been a whirlwind of adventure, and the Forum meetings that took place at the height of a firestorm were the peak of it all.
For me, this whirlwind started when Sophie Klossner challenged me to speak at industry events, starting with HDI local chapter meetings. I facilitate HDI Forum meetings and HDI Live Forum Roundtables all the time, but this was different. This was speaking on a topic, sharing knowledge. I wasn't sure I had anything to give, but I had to trust in myself (pun intended!). This was the beginning of my journey toward becoming a certified FranklinCovey facilitator for Working at the Speed of Trust.
Before I became certified to lead Speed of Trust workshops, I had participated in three different Speed of Trust workshops during Forum meetings in 2010 and 2011. This workshop really resonated with me. I was enthralled, fascinated by how such a simple message could be so resounding, so powerful, and so true. On top of that, this isn’t your regular boring lecture. This is a true workshop filled with exercises, videos, stories, comparisons, metaphors, and interaction with peers that encourages the exchange of information and knowledge. That's my kind of workshop—it's exactly how we facilitate Forum meetings.
I became certified to facilitate Speed of Trust workshops at the end of April 2012, and I immediately booked my first workshop with the HDI Dallas/Ft. Worth local chapter. I lead this workshop on July 19; it went very well and I felt great afterwards, which is a good definition for success. I will lead another workshop during the HDI Western and Central New York local chapter's 5th Annual Leadership Conference on September 27.
As I was preparing to lead my very first Speed of Trust workshop, I was also preparing for the HDI Live Forum Roundtable that took place May 10 in Dallas, TX, and the HDI Forum meetings that took place in June and July 2012.
From June 25–28, the following HDI Forum groups met in Colorado Springs, CO. Click on the links to view the agenda for each group.
From July 10–13, the HDI Higher Education Forum met in Laramie, WY, at the University of Wyoming.
As Forum members descended on Colorado Springs, HDI's hometown and headquarters, the city was on the brink of disaster. A firestorm had engulfed the mountains west of Colorado Springs, and by the second day of the Forum meetings, the storm had intensified, moving down the mountains and towards hundreds of homes on the west side of the city.
The glow from the Waldo Canyon fire (Source: The Colorado Springs Gazette)
As you can imagine, the HDI staff and Forum members were a bit worried about our safety, but at the same time there was a deep, sincere concern for the Colorado Springs community. We closely watched the reports and kept our members up to date on the situation, all the while preparing for the worst and hoping for the best, though a couple of members did decide to head home due to asthma (there was a tremendous amount of smoke) and one member actually stayed in a different hotel than the meeting location (about fifteen minutes northwest of downtown) and had to evacuate, so he decided to go home as well. However, at the end of the week, I am happy to report that our meeting location was at a safe distance from the blaze and the Forum members did not have to evacuate.
When we learned that our meeting location, the Antlers Hilton, had become an evacuation shelter, the Forum members started wondering how they could help the Colorado Springs community, the evacuees, and the firefighters that were risking their lives to save our city. Mike Maly, from Limited Brands, Inc., asked the front desk staff how he could help. The Antlers was collecting desperately needed supplies, like bottled water, to donate to the firefighters, who needed to be kept properly hydrated as they battled the storm. Mike reported this need to his group, the HDI Desktop Support Forum, and they quickly sprung into action. The results humbled me.
I am so thankful for the outpouring of support, the speed with which they acted, the significant contribution, and the pure kindness from this group of HDI members. This group collected a total of $905 to help purchase and donate water. Forum members from Costco Wholesale took the donations to the nearest Costco store and purchased $540 worth of water. The hotel arranged to have a pickup truck carry pallets of bottled water from Costco straight to the command center. Quick thinking and overflowing generosity produced a meaningful result for those putting their lives on the line to save others, their houses and properties, and this beautiful land we call home. We had a remaining $365 from the Forum members’ donation. I would like to provide a big thank you to Craig Karlin, HDI’s email marketing manager, for dropping the remaining donation (along with donated food and supplies from HDI staff) off at the Care and Share Foodbank for Southern Colorado.
“How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!” —Maya Angelou
The HDI Forums water donation.
On July 10, the Waldo Canyon fire was reported to be 100 percent contained. The fire, which started on June 23, destroyed 347 homes and burned 18,247 acres, and is the most destructive in Colorado history.
Incredible time-lapse footage of the fire.
I started to think the fires were following me as we whirled into July. During the second week of July, the HDI Higher Education Forum met in Laramie at the University of Wyoming. The week prior to our meeting, I watched reports that warned of fire just thirty miles west of Laramie. I watched as thick, dark smoke rolled into northern Denver and the suburbs before, during, and after the July 4th holiday from these fires in Wyoming. Luckily, as we approached the first day of the meeting on July 10, the fires were in the process of being controlled and we appeared to be in no danger.
It has been an extremely dry and dangerous summer, but despite the firestorms in both Colorado and Wyoming, the HDI Forum members held meaningful and valuable meetings. In forthcoming blogs, HDI staff and Forum meeting facilitators Rick Joslin, Jenny Rains, and Roy Atkinson will summarize a few of the meetings that took place during these adventurous weeks.
The next round of HDI Forum meetings will take place as follows:
September 10–12 in Columbus, OH: Executive Forum
October 15-–8 in Memphis, TN: Desktop Support Forum, Government Forum, Healthcare Providers Forum, Law Forum, Retail Forum, Support Center Leadership Forum
November 13–16 in Waco, TX at Baylor University: Higher Education Forum
December 10–12 in Reston, VA: Executive Forum