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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

My Journey Back to Montreal


I recently returned from a three day trip to Montreal where I hosted an event organized by "Ishaka", a Burundian traditional dance group from Ottawa. This is the second time that these ladies have asked me to be the MC of their event.

The trip was also an opportunity to get away from the usual and get a little bit of rest.  The event was phenomenal. It was close to perfection. The group's preparedness, their professionalism and their excellence made me feel proud to be Burundian. I have hosted many events over the past years, but I have never experienced anything like this. I had the opportunity to work with backstage producers, sound engineers and stage managers...It was a blast!

The beautiful Theatre Outremont was full to capacity and the crowd was really into it. The music and the dances were well performed by the young ladies with their beautiful smiles. I could tell they were having fun.

As I arrived early to the venue for the rehearsals, I was moved to tears while watching them perform a Burundian traditional dance over Bob Marley's song "One love". Wow! It was something.  When the real show was about to wrap up, my good friends Nicolas and Kijanya performed a song accompanied by the famous Burundian drummers. Man, I can't stop thinking about it. It was a great moment.

From what I could see, these ladies took their passion very seriously. They worked long and hard and asked for help when needed. Most of all, they worked perfectly as a team with no ego involved; and if I am not mistaken, this is the recipe for success. Find a passion, work hard, have fun while doing it, be humble to ask for help when needed and shoot for excellence. Ishaka does it, and they do it so well. 

Thanks a lot ladies for your inspiration. You made my day on Saturday!

Moral of the story? How about you tell me?

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

My Journey with Cecilia

 
It was almost four years ago when I met Cecilia for the first time. I was part of a coaching and training program where Cecilia was one of the three people who were assigned to me for coaching. The program was set to last seven months and included four trips to New York.

By the way, did you realize that I am back to blogging again? Yes Jim, I am back...

Now back to Cecilia.

During the seven months I spent working with Cecilia, I developed a friendship with her that is still there after four years. While I was trying my best to help her, she ended up being the one who inspired me to become a better person and a stronger leader.

A few weeks ago, while speaking to her on the phone, she mentioned to me that her business was thriving and that she was dealing better with life's challenges.  She was in a very good mood and I was happy for her and her business.  What she went on to tell with me during that conversation really surprised me; she told me that my coaching had impacted her life for the better. You see, during our seven month long coaching sessions, we had a phone call scheduled for every Monday at 5pm. Even to this day I can remember her telling me every time, “Patrick you are awesome."  Do you know why? Well, its because every Monday at 4:59pm, her phone rang. It was me calling her and I was never late. What she doesn’t know is that I had set an alarm for 4:55pm to remind me about the call.

Nevertheless, what mattered to her was that I was never late. It is something that inspired her so much that she started to implement it in her life and business. For me, it was something simple, but which had a huge impact in Cecilia’s life.

Now, Cecilia tells me, even her children are aware of time management. They are never late. Cecilia’s clients know her as a business woman who always delivers on time and for this they respect her.  Cecilia has raised her standards so high that everybody around her has to conform to her way of working and doing things. How cool is that?

I almost had tears in my eyes while listening to Cecilia share all of this with me.  You have no idea what a positive impact an encouraging word can have on someone; and on this day, I was the someone that Cecilia's words positively impacted.  I will admit that sometimes I doubt myself and have second thoughts about things; in fact, there are things in the past for which I feel guilty  but, when someone tells me the kind of words that Cecilia told me, it is like a fuel of new energy. I can go on for one more day. That is what it takes. Press on one more day.

Thank you Cecilia.
 
Moral of the story? Do you want me to have a good impact on your kids? Just set your alarm for 4:55pm and I will give you a call.
 
Always a pleasure
 
Patrick
The Journeyman.