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Metamorphosis, the sequel

October 23, 2015

Hey, it’s been a while. Sorry. I’ve been very busy preparing for and attending our annual sales kickoff. The meeting produced another avalanche of good news, the most rewarding to me was the stat that nearly 100% of our new customers in our 4th quarter selected one of our cloud solutions.

No Adam, we're not kidding.

No Adam, we’re not kidding.

For these past several weeks AWOL I’ve been living in a cocoon of words, trying to absorb them into my being. A team of us collaborated on a late-night talk show format to deliver an update on progress we’ve made to make it easier than ever for customers to buy Workforce Central in the cloud and get their hands on it fast. The efforts of many of my co-workers are to ensure the highest degree of success possible for customers using Kronos products.

For weeks our team has been working on scripts for a monologue, top 10, “commercials,” plus remote and live interviews. Then there was designing and building the set, creating the artwork, and putting it all together with precise direction to execute it in 45 minutes four times! Oh, and did I mention we had a live band led by one of our own employees and comprised of his pals from the Jersey Boys on Broadway and Saturday Night Live?

As the theater filled for our first “show,” Kronite Danny Sears, Dave Cinquegrana, Brian Holtz, Oskar Haggdahl and Chris Cuzme lit the room with sound. These guys were a huge part of the experience, and Danny pulled it all together with one phone call! That’s show biz, baby! In the moments before each of us received our queue to come on stage, we had to summon the courage to step out there. We all did. We could because we all felt empowered to. Our “Executive Producer,” Barb Vlacich trusted us to pull it off, Creative Director Ken Volk left no creative element imperfect, “Producer” Alena McMullen fit all the pieces together, Director (no quotes – he really was!) Jim Floyd taught us how to execute, writer (and “Voice of God”) Ellin McHarg gave us words we (almost) couldn’t screw up, and “Set Designer” Laura Meyer designed a beauty.

In the aftermath, several people complimented us on how well we got the message across. Creativity in marketing is wonderful, but if you don’t convey your message, it’s a waste of time. Our content was provided and perfected by Amy Moynihan, Susan Paugh, Lisa Pratt, Joy Van Landeghem, Michael Chee, Kadee Acree and I’m sure others I’m missing here… Sorry. We also received creative support from Maradith Markham-Burns and Sue Teperow.

On stage, our talent (that’s not getting quote fingers either) was outstanding. First of all, two of our recruits declined because they wanted others to get the credit for all the work they had done. That kind of humility is one of the things that makes Kronos a great place to work. Anyway, our cast of Dan Rooney, Julia Dunn, Kate Matheson, Courtney Davis, Vanessa Nedvins and Tim Frost were both fun and effective delivering great content to our 4 audiences. Let’s get the band together again next year!

Speaking of bands, the one request I made of Danny and the boys was to blare their horns with some Bruce for our Executive Producer, a true Jersey Girl (without the big hair). During our last show as they tore into “Born to Run,” I saw her sitting in the front. She smiled. It was a nice moment.

Do what you fearYesterday on the plane home I was listening to music and still thinking about the experience. It truly was a metamorphosis for me. In September I did a presentation for my marketing peers and just choked from presentation anxiety. That scared me. I needed to prove to myself that it was an aberration. As the music flowed I heard an old familiar line from the 90’s band Bush:

“Our old friend fear and you and me.”

I left him out on the stage.

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