#Kscope15, ODTUG BoD and Burnout

I’m sure some of you clicked on the link because the title is a bit, well, blunt. Quite honestly, I don’t think people are honest and straightforward enough. However, I’m told that I don’t have that problem…for better or for worse. I’ve debated writing this post because it bears a bit of my professional soul, but it will be worth it if just one person says it spoke to them.

I have always been driven to get people excited and involved in things I am passionate about. These things range from running to biking to SEC football to ODTUG. I operate in black or white, on or off, 0 or 1, all or nothing. There are positives to this – when you have my attention and energy, you have 100%. There are negatives – sometimes I my well runs dry when I don’t refill it. The issue is that I know this, but I sometimes don’t recognize the well running dry until it’s almost too late.

Let me say it bluntly – I arrived at Kscope with a nearly dry well. Nearly burnt out, if not there already.

I had run out of ideas for the blog. I hadn’t challenged myself technically in a long time. I was getting frustrated. Normally, doing long and hard workouts resets my mind and its path, but not even the Ironman training was working in the previous months. What was the issue? Some are surprised that I’m actually an introvert. Now, I have my moments and I’m certainly not introverted around my friends. I’ve spoken at a few conferences this year and found myself more introverted than normal, and actually told Kellyn Pot-vin-Gorman about this in April. I was at a loss. Had I lost it for good?

So here I am arriving early to Kscope for the ODTUG Board of Directors mid-year, face to face meeting. I missed the one in January due to company commitments, so I already knew that I was coming in without bonding experience that could have helped my dry well. I took advice given to me in January to mainlny listen and watch during my first 6 months on the board – best advice given to me, IMHO. So, I came to the meeting with wide eyes and open ears. Let me tell you, each person on the BoD has a passion for YOU, the Oracle user and developer.

  • Monty – our president. He is a selfless leader and truly thinks about YOU when making decisions. He wants ODTUG to be bigger and better and challenges all of ODTUG’s leaders – elected or not – to think that way.
  • Natalie – vice president and conference chair. That girl knows how to throw a week-long geek learning party. I tried to pass along the comments I got from the conference to her throughout the week, but I couldn’t fit them all in. It’s obviously quality was her #1 goal for Kscope, and that goal was nailed.
  • Dave – secretary extraordinaire. Funny, he is the quiet one in the group, but when it comes to rallying people via grassroots, he knows how to do it. Think of the database beer community event on Monday night… I should mention, you might notice Dave and me trading barbs with each other in person and on Twitter, but know that none of it is serious. Or all of it. Your call.
  • Tim – treasurer. It’s always been obvious that Tim has a passion for Essbase and making the user experience better. When it comes to making sure that ODTUG and Kscope will be able to serve its members for the years to come, he’s on it financially. Taking the time to ensure ODTUG longevity is a skill and Tim rocks it.
  • Mia – my girl. I think the only one who might rival me in the pure energy category. And I’ll concede my defeat to her. When it comes to raw passion and drive, this girl wins, hands down. If you want someone on your side, this is the girl to pick. I can’t say enough about Mia’s energy, passion and support.
  • Cameron – when it comes to a person passionate about their ODTUG community, he wins for EPM. I worked with him for the last 6 months of last year regarding the community, and he wants this group to succeed. I should plug here that if you are an EPM’er looking to get involved in the community, contact him!
  • Martin – I’m convinced this guy can do anything. We bonded over cycling and when you can do that with someone, you know they are a good breed. When you look at the Twitter feed for the different communities and their blog posts, thank this guy. What a great idea! Give him some time and a bike, and he can cure ODTUG problems.
  • Mike – talk about bleeding ODTUG! Mike eats, sleeps and breaths YOU. Many of you know his story from the past couple years and there is not anyone who is more glad to see him doing awesome than I. If you are looking for someone who knows all things ODTUG, this is your man.

Why did I just do a run through of the ODTUG board? Because they started refilling my well. It was in the first couple days that I realized my dry well was not due to anything I could fix on my own; but, rather, the relationships of others in my “geek group” was most needed. Seeing their drive, passion and love for the user group and the ideas flowing out started a firehose of ideas in my mind. Not to mention, the BoD likes to party…click here.

As the week went on and seeing/meeting new and old friends from Twitter and the Oracle community, I noticed my well was refilling at an amazing pace. I got to the point where I could no longer remember all the thoughts and ideas I had for blog posts, getting YOU involved in ODTUG and ideas for different areas of my ODTUG responsibility. Talk about a renewed passion! It was proof positive to me that Kscope not only offers the technical content needed to take you to the next level, but also offers the community support and relationships to help raise you over obstacles. What a fantastic group we are, ODTUG.

So here I am, back home from Hollywood, Florida and running at 100 mph (or, 161 kmh for my non-US friends) and feeling like I am back at my best operating pace. I have a napkin full of ideas that I plan on recruiting YOU to help me with. I can’t do this alone. At basic training, our flight had a saying when things would get a bit rough – “One team, one fight!” All, we are a team – let’s fight the same fight.

If you are interested in volunteering with ODTUG (and we have needs for volunteers!), contact me below or better yet, go directly to ODTUG’S site here.

You all have refilled my well and gotten me out of the burnout stage I was in, so let me give back to you. I encourage you to apply for the Leadership Program. While not everyone will be accepted, know that you are getting quality user group leadership experience. Training leaders has been a passion of mine since college, so when I was asked to lead this group for the coming year, I started gearing up immediately. It’s going to be a ride, but a fun one. Link for information and the application is here.

Thank you, team. We have less than 51 weeks until #Kscope16 starts. Let’s go!

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