Airstream Saga – Good News

Lessons learned for law firms:
•    People change only when there is a reason they see in their self-interest
•    You must find what is in their self-interest
•    Candid discussion is required to learn the agenda of each participant
•    Agreement can be achieved, sometimes with the result that everyone gets what they want
•    Discussion is an on-going requirement for successful team efforts
•    There needs to be one leader at a time, a managing partner, who needs to achieve consensus for a following.  While managing partners have great leeway, they need to remain connected with their colleagues to remain the leader. (In this political season, there are many analogies.)

After our last episode, I suggested to my wife that her midnight reaction was not acceptable if she was looking for a team effort. If she wanted my continuing involvement with her Airstream fantasy, she needed to have some trust that I am a capable driver, that I will get the assistance that I need to address whatever skill I believe I lack and that when we act as a unit, we will arrive at our destination successfully. In other words, on-going criticism doesn’t work …

That was “yesterday.” Today is “today,” and we went on our first “major” journey.  This was a 65 mile adventure on the freeways and by-ways of the Los Angeles area. We needed to take our trailer from its storage (resting) place to the authorized Airstream representative for inspection and repair.

We hooked up; this time, she followed my lead, checking off each task as I did it to confirm that I followed the correct protocol, and acted as the navigator as we traveled to our destination for this day.  This allowed me to focus on the new driving skills needed to travel. By the way, we didn’t misplace or lose any parts this time. <g>

We started out.  As we traveled, I could tell my wife was quite nervous, her fear of problems increasing as each mile passed. After all, she feared, the more we drive, the more likely something bad will happen.  Suddenly, though,  she realized we hadn’t had an accident. I was driving without weaving all over the road. And we reached our destination, safe and sound, about 90 minutes later.

For those of you who want comic relief involving trailers, I encourage you to get the old DVD with Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, and the more recent one with Robin Williams. These are classics and guaranteed to have you rolling in the aisles.

When she could finally exhale, she was actually surprised … and very happy. With this successful venture, we were able to demonstrate that we can work together … and this might actually turn out to be fun. 

Parenthetically, my wife is now bragging to her women friends (and our children) about how well I drove with the trailer hooked up. Having my wife brag about me in this context is an unexpected bonus!

We now await the inspection report! What will need to be done, what we would like to have done … and what will the cost be. That will be fun! 🙂
Stay tuned.


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