If You Do Not Have a Christine San Juan in Your Life - Get One!

April 03, 2014 | 2091 Views

If You Do Not Have a Christine San Juan in Your Life - Get One!

Patrick Yearout, FMP, CHT

Director of Innovation, Recruiting, and Training | Ivar's & Kidd Valley Restaurants

At our recent T3 Conference in Colorado Springs, I became the first CHART member to complete all twelve of our training competency workshops.  I was very happy and proud of achieving this professional objective, and I was also very appreciative of the immense amount of time, care, and effort that went into developing the program and creating the incredible content delivered in those sessions.

But I have to tell you, the only reason that I was the first person to make it through every one of the workshops was because of something that happened four years earlier at the CHART conference in New Orleans.

I was working on the CHART Silent Auction at that particular conference with another member, Christine San Juan.  Coincidentally, she and I had also both signed up for the same Saturday afternoon competency session on Coaching and Development.  We had arrived early to get our auction tasks completed, but it ended up becoming more responsibility than we had originally anticipated.  Even though we worked on it all day Friday and on Saturday morning, we still had a lot left to do.

I remember telling Christine that I was thinking of skipping the workshop, but she was adamant that we go.  “We’re going to put together a plan to figure out how to get everything done, and we’re going to that session,” she told me.

Emboldened by her words, I heartily agreed and picked up the pace on my work.  But as the hours ticked away and the 1:00pm start time drew near, I began to waver again.  I repeated my concern to Christine that I didn’t think we could go to the session and still get all of the auction work done, but she remained steadfast.  “This is important.  We came here to invest in ourselves, and we’re not going to miss it.”  She made me put down my auction sheets, and we ran off to the meeting room right at 12:59.

In the end, of course, Christine was absolutely right.  Not only was it an amazing session in which I learned a great deal about coaching and really did feel like I was investing in myself, but we ended up having plenty of time to get all of our volunteer work done (and the auction was a great success!).

But here’s the kicker: I had a side discussion with one of the presenters at the Coaching and Development session, and it was because of that conversation that I decided to take the Business Acumen competency.  So at the next conference in Orlando, I signed up for it.  And because of a conversation I had with an attendee in Business Acumen, I decided that I needed to take the Technical Knowledge session.  So at the next conference in Las Vegas, I signed up for that one.  Each session kept pointing me to the next, and the next, and the next, until I finally finished all 12 in Colorado Springs, and it honestly wouldn’t have happened without the great advice and tough love from Christine San Juan on that day back in New Orleans.

The point of my story is this: if you don’t have a Christine San Juan in your life, then get one.  All of us feel confused and hesitant from time to time, and we’re not sure of the right path to take.  We need someone in our corner – a mentor, coach, or advocate – to point us in the right direction and give us the kick we need to get moving.  It doesn’t matter if it’s a co-worker, boss, friend, or another CHART member, it’s just important that you seek out supportive people who want to help you succeed and are ready to offer guidance when you need it most.  I’m extremely grateful that Christine was there for me four years ago, and I’m very glad she’s still in my corner today. 

So take a moment to consider who is in your corner to keep you on track, and if you do not have a Christine San Juan in your life – get one!

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