Today I began running for my former employer, Sean McKenna. He is a leader I am pleased to have had the opportunity to work with. Sean is the VP Operations (and co-owner) of NRI Distribution, a warehousing and distribution company in Kamloops, BC. My work at the company was in the IT department meaning that it was my job to enable his department to do their job. In the first few years of my work there, the company was doubling in size each year resulting in a variety of technological and operational growing pains. At that time, my hours of work seemed to be “whenever someone needs help with technology” (day or night), unless it was a big snow day at Sun Peaks.
I had been told early on by Sean that he had an “open door” policy. Within my first months at NRI I decided to test it by bringing up what I perceived as inefficiencies in the way things were run in the warehouse. Despite my complete lack of experience in all things related to warehouse operations (I was an IT guy remember), he patiently listened to all my feedback and then offered reasons as to why some of those things were that way without giving an aire of defensiveness or condescension. The manner in which he welcomed my feedback, then and on subsequent occasions, stands as an example to me for how I should listen to everyone who sees a different way I might be doing things.
I will also never forget his words the day I gave notice that I would be leaving NRI (in six months) to pursue an engineering degree. He looked me squarely in the eyes and said “I gotta shit.” Then he left the room.
The work hard / play hard attitude entrenched in the culture at NRI continues to fuel me at school and in endeavours such as this absurd running I am doing. I am appreciative for the support and I look forward to pounding out these 100 km like I am back on the NRI payroll.
Today’s 12 km took me out along the seawall on a chilly, rainy, and cloudy (but otherwise gorgeous) Vancouver evening.