To confer, converse, and otherwise hob-nob with my brother wizards…

Written by mitch on. Posted in Uncategorized

I’m sitting at my desk trying to get a handle on my feelings about an impending business trip that will begin this coming Tuesday, March 16.
The problem stems from my participation in the group sponsoring the meeting itself. You see it’s almost impossible to articulate or explain what the group is all about: at least, it is for me. You see it’s more than the sum of its parts. That really shouldn’t be a problem at this point as I’ve already been to a number of these conferences. Nevertheless, it still is.
I could say it’s a consulting company. After all, they do consulting. I could say it’s a ‘coaching’ company. I have a coach. I could say a lot of things about the company, but in reality it is perhaps the most important business resource I have ever found or employed.
More than that, it works! But, that hasn’t helped me to describe it to someone else or to get my arms around it on a personal level. The funniest part of it all is what is currently swirling around in my head: so strange, I’m not even sure I get it myself. What I see if I close my eyes is one of the final scenes of “The Wizard of OZ,” the Hollywood film classic.
Now, you’ve got to understand that as a kid growing up in the 50’s, “The Wizard of Oz” was magical: everything about it. Each element was indelibly etched in my memory: the subtlety of going from Black & White to Technicolor, the characters, the Wicked Witch, the Winkies, the Palace Guards, the Wizard himself, Dorothy, the special effects – which really seemed pretty special at the time, all of it.
So, in a way, my being fixated on a specific scene as I sit here and agonize over leaving shouldn’t really be all that much of a surprise, even it if is troublesome to me. Which scene… Well, the last scene in Oz, of course: the scene in which the Wizard announces he is leaving.
This is what it looks and feels like:
Ext. Public Square, Emerald City — LS — The Wizard and Dorothy in the
basket of balloon — Tin Man, Scarecrow and Lion standing on platform with
them — people of Oz grouped about them — the Wizard speaks to them as
the CAMERA MOVES forward — the people cheer —
                        Good people of Oz, this is positively the
                        finest exhibition ever to be shown —
                        — yes — well — be that as it may — I,
                        your Wizard par ardua ad alta, am about to
                        embark upon a hazardous and technically
                        unexplainable journey into the outer
MCS — Wizard and Dorothy in the basket — the Wizard speaks to the crowd
o.s. — CAMERA PANS to left to enter the Tin Man and Scarecrow, then PANS
right as the Wizard points to the Lion —

                        To confer, converse, and otherwise hob-nob
                        with my brother wizards…
Well, I guess if I really had to explain where I was going and what I will be doing to anyone interested enough to ask, that is precisely what I’d have to say: I’m going to confer, converse, and otherwise hob-nob with my brother wizards…
Why? Well, because that’s what Wizards do!
All kidding aside, that’s pretty much it! I’m going to spend the next few days with a fairly large group of very forward thinking, extremely committed, very involved, automotive service professionals absolutely focused on just about one thing and one thing only: improving their businesses so they can deliver the best quality products and services they are capable of in ways almost guaranteed to delight their/our clients.
The agenda is packed with classes, programs, speakers and discussions all designed to make me… make us… even better at what we do, and that is serve you.
Despite the density and richness of the program and the fact that it goes from early in the morning until late at night, I think I’m going to at least try to drop you a line from the meeting. But, for now, I’m going to have to click my heels together three times and say, “There’s no place like Oz! There’s no place like Oz!”

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I am a fourth generation, forty-sixy year veteran of the automotive aftermarket: an ASE Certified Master Technician, Service Consultant and Approved Automotive Manager. I grew up in this business with a passion for all things mechanical, particularly those things relating to performance. That passion grew to include all aspects of management, leadership and personal development with a special focus on every day shop operations which resulted in an eight-volume series on automotive shop management published by Cengage Learning and Thomson Publishing. I have been a trade journalist writing to the aftermarket for almost thirty years, devoting my professional life to improving both the image and experience of everyone struggling to succeed in the service industry and I've worked diligently to improve communication and increase understanding between all segments of my industry. This site and everything on it is both an extension and a continuation of those efforts

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