National Connections, Local Ownership
National Connections, Local Ownership

Jane Clark: (Not) On the Road

It’s been a while since I’ve written this blog, primarily because I haven’t been on the road.  In fact, I haven’t been much of anywhere except my dining room table in the last 3 months.  Like so many others, we moved our operations from our office in Downers Grove to working from home in March.  We are very fortunate to be able to work remotely without much disruption, as we continue to support our members and provide our services to them.  We’re grateful for the technologies that have allowed us to move meetings to conference calls, add webinars and Zoom calls to our repertoire, and spend hours on the phone in order to stay connected.  We’ve looked for the opportunities in the situation, and found many, such as time to tackle projects that had languished on the back burner.  Nonetheless, I still miss being on the road.

Sure, seeing the local sights and eating the local delicacies are a very enjoyable part of my travels.  But right now, that’s not what I’m missing.  I miss driving into a town and seeing the kinds of businesses and industry in the area as I look for the NationaLease sign at our member’s shop.  I miss finally meeting the person at the front desk who always answers the phone when I call.  I miss seeing the Leadership Circle and Exceptional Service plaques on the wall along with the other accolades the member has won.  I miss the tours of the office and the shops where I get to put faces with the names I see on emails.  I miss hearing about the challenges, the opportunities, the successes, and the ways we can help our members that often don’t come up on a phone call or in an email, but do come up as we walk through their facility, or over lunch or dinner.  Often, I learn more in a single afternoon with a member than I have in years of talking with them over the phone. 

For the time being, I’ll be staying at home.  I’ll continue to make the most of the marvelous technology we have to listen, learn, and help in any way we can.  I’ll continue to look for the silver linings and identify opportunities to serve our members and their customers.  Of course, I’ll continue to stay connected in every way I can.  And I’ll continue looking forward to the day I can once again wake up at 3:00 am to head to the airport, battle the weather, endure the flight delays, wait in the rental car line, and struggle with my GPS directions, because more than ever, I realize it is all really, really worth it to come and visit you.

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