Kicking Rocks and Soaring with Eagles

Photo Credit: My Dad, John

This article was originally published on the FCR blog on July 18, 2017. Click here to read the original.

One practice I’ve never really grown out of is kicking rocks, pinecones, or whatever as I walk or run. I’m not totally sure why I do it other than to pass the time as I move down the road. I should note that I never do this during races or around other people or cars. I’m a very responsible rock kicker. Something that’s required for successful rock kicking is keeping your head down, focusing on the road ahead, and looking for new rocks to kick.

The other day I was going about my routine during an early morning run when a bald eagle flew about thirty feet overhead. I stopped in my tracks, muttered something like, “Man, I love Oregon,” and then just watched in awe as the bird flew out of sight. That bird may have been just going about its business, but it sure made my day. Had I not looked up I would have totally missed it.

This encounter made me think about working in customer service — or any occupation for that matter. We certainly do our fair share of kicking rocks down the road, whether it’s answering the next call, chat, email, Tweet, Apple Business Chat, or whatever other support channel they throw at us. Or perhaps as managers it’s the next report we have to put together, quality assessment, team meeting, or coaching conversation.

In the day to day, humdrum of operations and life, it gets easy to forget to pause, look up, and remember why we really do what we do. I’m partial to customer service and the opportunity we have to connect with other human beings, serve them, and hopefully make their day and life just a bit better that it was before they spoke with us. As a manager it’s easy to focus on today’s metrics and forget about developing future leaders. It’s easy to lose sight of the major difference we can make when we collaborate together.

This is not to devalue or diminish the value of kicking the rock down the road. It’s an inevitable part of life. But it’s also important to take the time to connect with purpose and meaning and think about where we’re headed so we don’t miss out on opportunities to soar with eagles.

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