BL&T No. 096: Allowing for Bend & Quarterly Sessions

Personal Growth

This post originally appeared in my newsletter, Borrowed, Learned, & Thought. BL&T is sent weekly on Mondays. In every edition, I share lessons learned in agency leadership, life, and e-commerce. This post does not include all the details shared in the newsletter sent via email. Subscribe here.


"Team learning is vital because teams, not individuals, are the fundamental learning unit in modern organizations. This is where the rubber meets the road; unless teams can learn, the organization cannot learn."

From "The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of The Learning Organization" by Peter M. Senge [Book]


I feel like I've been running a marathon since July 4th weekend. It was nice to slow down on Sunday evening to write and reflect.

I spent most of last week in NYC for quarterly sessions with Barrel Team Leads (more on this later), Partners, and leadership from Barrel Holdings' agencies, Vaulted Oak and BX Studio. On Wednesday, visited Edge with the Team Leads before a team dinner. It was nice to see everyone in-person. I especially enjoyed meeting Kate, our Director of Client Services, for the first time and seeing Christine, our Design Director. The last time Christine and I saw each other in person was at a photo shoot in February 2020!

Dana and I hosted a get-together on Saturday for my birthday (actually 6/29). I thought it was a good excuse to bring local friends and family together under our roof. It was a lot of fun. Sadly, I was so focused on entertaining that I forgot to snap photos. A highlight was taking my 93-year-old Mom-Mom out to run errands with me before the party, then seeing her navigate my house with just her cane (not her walker). She's an inspiration.

Yesterday, we spent the afternoon at a local brewery, Warwick Brewing, with Dana's side of the family because her sister Gina was in town with my niece and nephew, Olivia and Owen. Gina's husband flies Ospreys in the airforce — after three years in England, they're moving back to the states. We're happy about that! My 4-year-old niece, Olivia, was nearly attached to my hip, and I loved it.

I'd be lying if I didn't say I was exhausted. It seems like we can go weeks without obligations, then it all hits at once. Besides a morning workout last week at my hotel, it has been hard to keep up my regular habits, fitness routine, diet, etc. I find it fascinating how taxing these changes can be when your body gets used to a schedule. It's all worth it, though. As much as I love my routine, I've learned that a little bend can go a long way. I look forward to getting back in the groove this week.

Today's newsletter focuses on the new format for our Team Leads Quarterly Session.

This week, I will also be publishing a short essay on my takeaways from the Partners' Q2 read, Becoming Trader Joe by Trader Joe's founder Joe Coulombe.

Read: Running Quarterly Debriefs Across the Team

Thought Starter

Have I created the space for my team to slow down, acknowledge progress, and share input?

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