Image Above: Hollie Braid from Collabrance takes a lesson from work and applies it when joining other bicyclists at RAGBRAI. (Photo Credit: Brian Braid)
I was lucky enough to spend 7 days on my bicycle taking part in the Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI). This event takes place during the last full week in July each year. Beginning in 1973, it is now the longest, largest and oldest bicycle-touring event of its kind in the world. This was my 5th year to complete this bicycle challenge, along with my husband and sister, and I felt it was time to share some lessons learned from the road.
A couple weeks back, our General Manager challenged us with the following story:
If you had $86,400 and someone stole $10 from you, would you throw all of the $86,390 away in hopes of getting back at the person who took your $10, or move on and live? Right, move on and live. See, we have 86,400 seconds in a day, so don’t let someone’s negative 10 seconds ruin the rest of the 86,390.
The takeaway? Don’t sweat the small stuff, life is bigger than that.
Image Above: Corey Kerns, General Manager at Collabrance, presents at the team's quarterly review meeting.
I can't count the number of times I thought about this example (and shared it with others) at RAGBRAI. This annual event is an amazing adventure, but at its core, it is 15,000 cyclists on the road together pedaling from town to town. When that many riders descend on a town with a population of a few hundred (or in one town’s case 29), there are bound to be some issues!
If you spend a lot of time on a bicycle, and particularly if you ever ride in an organized bike ride, you quickly learn there is a language that must be spoken on bikes in order to keep everyone safe. Without the blinkers and brake lights that cars have, we have to use arm signals and our voices to ensure everyone stays safe. This is especially important when bikes are riding in large groups, where the actions of one can affect the health of many. In the span of one morning, I had to use evasive maneuvers 5 times in order to remain upright on my bike. Each time, my initial reaction was road rage, but then I remembered Corey’s story. I quickly got back to enjoying the ride (albeit away from those who had caused issues).
At RAGBRAI, camp sites are a long walk from food and restrooms, there are no available outlets for charging the multiple devices we insist on carrying each day, and a lack of my favorite beverages at every turn were all frustrations...
...but I knew it wasn't worth focusing on the negative and instead was able to let them go and be thankful for the little things.
The smile on children’s faces as you wave at them while passing by, ice cold watermelon on the side of the road after grinding up a killer hill, the mist that hangs over our beautiful farm fields in the morning as the sun comes up... these things were what I choose to focus my time and energy on.
It's easy to get caught in the little things, but it's not worth ruining your day. As I come back to work this week, physically tired, but intellectually rested and refreshed, I plan to continue to think about this story.
Whether it is at work, at the grocery store, or out on the road, I plan to remember it is only 10 seconds. Take a deep breath, keep pedaling and just enjoy the ride!
Attitude is extremely important and a top attribute we look for upfront in candidates. Our Vision, Mission and Principles reflect who we are as a team. Leadership lessons like remembering how to not sweat the small stuff help us keep a strong company culture and happy environment. If you are looking for a positive company culture, consider applying to join our team!
Hollie Braid, Director of Service Delivery, is responsible for unified, strategic leadership in service areas, including service activation, preventative maintenance, user support, training and quality. Prior to joining Collabrance in 2009, Hollie started at GreatAmerica in 2006. Before working at GreatAmerica, Hollie worked in IT for Verizon. Hollie joined GreatAmerica as a member of the Service Desk. In 2007, she became the support behind the GreatAmerica FleetView product. Hollie was part of the team that launched Collabrance, and in 2011 she became the Service Team Leader. Hollie received her Bachelor of Science degree in Information Technology from the University of Phoenix.