I recently celebrated five years at Walgreens, and as part of this career milestone employees are given a ceremonial 5-year pin and the team gathers around as managers and colleagues say a few words about the milestone and the employee’s accomplishments and contributions to the company. At Walgreens, this pin holds an important cultural significance as employees in the stores and at corporate proudly display their pins for 3, 5, 10, 15, 20 or more years of service.
As part of the ceremony, there’s an opportunity for the employee to say a few words. And leading up to my anniversary I started to reflect on what I’ve learned.
It’s been an amazing ride these last five years as I’ve had the opportunity to build an employee community and collaboration program from the ground up, and do it with the help of, and in partnership with, a lot of talented and remarkable people who have influenced and changed me in profound ways. (If you’re wondering why my pin is on a mini-red couch in the photo above, read more here.)
So for my “5-year pin” acceptance speech here’s what I shared as I reflected on what I’ve learned these last 5 years.
- How to take risks
- How to persevere
- How to believe in myself
- How to make and grow partnerships
- How to lead
- How to succeed
- How to fail
- How to learn from my mistakes
- How to deal and adapt to change
- How to manage through ambiguity
- How to inspire
- How to be patient
- How to be assertive
- The value and importance of seeing a situation from both the 30,000 foot level while still executing on the ground level
- How to learn from the past
- How to cast a vision for the future and then execute on that vision in small manageable steps
- How to be present in the moment
- How to build a team
- How to be part of a team
- How to teach others
- How to lead leaders
- How to make something out of nothing
- How to strategically experiment
- How to believe and trust in other people
- How to challenge others
- How to challenge myself
- How to grow and mature as a strategic communicator and a thinker
It’s amazing what you can learn in five years, isn’t it?