Thanksgiving is truly one of the best holidays.  Food, football, family.  As I have young kids I find myself getting back to the basics of actually giving thanks.  When I ask my kids what they are thankful for, I get all kinds of funny responses.  When I ask myself what I am thankful for, I get more functional responses in my brain:

  • I am thankful for working with talented people.  Each year at Phase One we create our WORKS publication.  The publication highlights the positive contributions Phase One employees have made in support of the missions that they support.  The ingenuity, resourcefulness, and autonomy with which people work always amazes me.  It is one thing to work on your own ideas, but to see other ideas get developed, planned, and flourish is such a heart warming experience.  I raise a glass to the idea generators and solution implementers at Phase One.
  • I am thankful for supporting ambitious clients.  I have come to discover that the innate makeup of our clients is just as important as the teams that we field at Phase One.  We are fortunate to have very ambitious clients that, in the face of all sorts of pressures, want to get things done in new and interesting ways.  I don't think it is just a coincidence that this is the collection of clients that we support.  I think birds of a feather flock together.  Without the ambitions and perseverance of our clients, progress would be untenable.
  • I am thankful for being around people that see opportunity where others see challenges.  D.C. is full of contractor staff that take orders, point out problems, and mire themselves in what I call "the theatrics of bureaucracy".  Attending meetings is not work ... arguing over definitions is not work ... speculating over the politics of the workplace is not work.  I don't get these people and luckily these people don't get me.  Everyday I find myself surrounded by people that are just the opposite of what I am describing.  The Phase One family is full of people that see what can be done.  When they get seemingly simple tasks they ask themselves: "what is the real intent here" ... "what can I do to take this to the next level" ... "what is appropriate in this organization" ... "how can this tie to cost savings or mission improvements."  There are seemingly a million pretty obvious reasons why something will be hard or perhaps hardly possible ... I am thankful to be surrounded by people that spend their time on gettings things done rather than hand wringing over the obstacles.