Cortez (head of social media at Blytheco. He also does most of our blog stuff which is really why I’m kissing up by putting him at the top).
Cortez is really tall. He does not look that way on our weekly teleconference, and Apryl said he was tall, but no… he is really tall. His personality is equally tall. For example, he wears bright red glasses and often makes us laugh.
We ate and drank a lot. In fact, after 6PM it’s mostly a blur except I vaguely remember frying potatoes for a cooking competition.
We met each day in our conference room and it was mostly pairing up and doing things. I was paired with Cortez. Our assignment was to develop our Calls to Action strategy. We came up with some good ideas and presented them to the group. Cortez and I together are a powerful force in the Blytheco stable of marketing gurus. Or perhaps Cortez is the powerful force and I am just “the guy standing next to him.”
Did I mention eating and drinking a lot?
We now know each other’s personality types (long story). Cortez is an “Expressive” which is a fancy word for extrovert. I am also an Expressive. My boss Apryl is a “Driver/Driver”, which is redundant and self-explanatory. Greg who does graphic design and email blasts is an Amiable. You basically just give him lots of graphic design work and he goes away and a week later your inbox is glutted with large attachments like “Color AD – Draft 14 – this one has a bigger logo”. Everyone else is an “Amiable” to one degree or another. If you want something from them, just give them a hug or a candy bar. Alicia is an “Amiable/Analytic”, which means she is like a nice accountant. You give her a spreadsheet and a candy bar and she will come in on Saturdays to do part of your job for you.
One of our assignments was to list three professional goals and a statement of how you intended to achieve those goals. Alicia and I both misinterpreted the instructions and made our goals too personal and warm and fuzzy. Since I am an Extrovert, I read my warm and fuzzy goals to the group. Alicia’s amiable part wrote some warm and fuzzy goals, but her Analytic part would not read them to the group. Dori’s (head of public relations at Blytheco) goals were also “warm and fuzzy” but with being an Amiable/Amiable, that is what you would expect. She read her goals, teared up and handed out candy.
I lied. I am really an Extrovert/Amiable. My Driver Apryl would not allow me to be an Extrovert/Driver. I complied with her wishes in an attention-getting way.
By the end of the four days, we were all connected and fast friends. We had bonded as a group and everyone, even the Drivers, hugged. Dori hugged and handed out candy.
In hindsight, it was an important and productive session. I would encourage other organizations to consider bringing diverse groups like ours together. I am now working on a system where I can make someone laugh, and in return, I get a hug. Where else can there be so much hugging, spreadsheets, laughing, candy bars, and telling other people what to do – all of which describes our week perfectly.