Occasionally, a consulting assignment results in an “aha” moment. Beyond monetary revenue, it provides psychic income. Such was the case for me this week of Thanksgiving.
Planes, Trains and Automobiles, is atop the list of my two daughters and my favorite films. Hilarious with a message we still talk about it some 30 years after seeing it. In the movie, Steve Martin and John Candy’s flight is diverted. They reluctantly join forces using all modes of transportation to get home for Thanksgiving. Once the Martin character realizes Candy is homeless, he invites him to his home for dinner with his family.
Last Friday I got a call about a project for Thanksgiving week in the Philadelphia area. In my field of consulting there is often little time for planning. It’s like “Have bags ready, will travel.” The assignment was for a company employing homeless individuals.
Sunday night I took an Amtrak from Connecticut to the Philadelphia 30th street station. As no rental car company was opened that evening in Philly, I had reserved a car at the airport and took a taxi from the train station to pick it up.
A brain is a wonderous organ. It can create improbable connections. Driving to the hotel I thought of the movie. I had been on a train, at an airport, and now I was driving an automobile. Moreover, I thought of the John Candy role.
For two days I held some 15 meetings in Spanish with about over 200 employees delivering the client’s message. The group was humble, welcoming and hardworking. In the future I will think differently about the homeless.
This assignment also reminded me of my need to show greater gratitude for my good fortunes. The latter will be on my mind on Thanksgiving Day and beyond. I also plan see the movie again for the umpteenth time.
Good health, safe living and best wishes to all my IMC USA colleagues this week of Thanksgiving.