The week can be described as fast and furious. So much to accomplish, so little time. My only reflection came through writing blog posts for the Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce. Today I’m writing with appreciation. The amount of work done behind the scenes to create such a meaningful international trip was a large undertaking – from transportation to making meaningful appointments – and everything in-between. So, here is where I say, “thank you.”
Kensington Palace was more than just a stop on the agenda.
Arriving at Kensington Palace was fascinating. We were directed to a back gate and entered as a small group. It was much different than entering the White House. Palace greeters were there to welcome us and show us to our destination on the grounds. We spent a good amount of time in the King’s Room, as it was called, filled with historical pictures of the matriarch. It was there Secretary of Commerce, Jim Schellinger, addressed the Indiana group privately.
He took time to reflect on what we had accomplished as a team on our short, yet fast-paced journey, and acknowledged everyone in attendance. It was somewhat surreal standing in the palace and looking out at the grounds from the inside. Just being there caused immediate reflection of historical perspective. We ended up in Diana’s Garden where we joined the United States delegation, representing various states.
The unique backdrop provided an opportunity for once in a lifetime pictures, but it also afforded time to get to know one another. We had an opportunity to meet other state officials and discuss prospective plans for collaboration. When the evening concluded we had a long walk to the palace entry gate to meet our driver. The walk provided just enough time to appreciate the importance of Indiana’s presence at such a distinctive event.
The final day.
The final day of meetings felt more frantic than the first few days. The key was to follow-up with as many prospects as possible, to offer appreciation for shared vision, and to build upon new relationships, one more time. It also gave us an opportunity to meet with new friends following our time together at Kensington Palace. We made a lot of invitations to Indiana and we were invited by many other states. It was in the final hours that we all realized we still have much to do after our time in London. There are many emails to send, people to connect, and new meetings to set-up. The final day was only our final day in London.
Appreciation of YOU.
Spending time with a group of leaders in close proximity day-after-day, you begin to connect differently, creating more meaningful relationships. I took time to get to know the delegation one-by-one, making significant connections that are meant to create collaborative opportunities for the future. In those conversations, I found myself talking about many of you. I talked about our city, county, economic development corporation, chamber of commerce, higher education institutions, workforce development efforts, our community foundation, and the list goes on. Learning about what others are doing helped me recognize new opportunities, but it also caused me to appreciate who I get to work with every day, day-in and day-out. Today, I’m feeling much appreciation for you.