Availability – Making my schedule and priorities secondary to the needs of those I serve.
Growing up, my Dad was an electrician that worked for PSO, City of Pryor, and ultimately retired after 23 years of service from Grand River Dam Authority (GRDA). It seemed that Dad was called out every time it thundered; the phone would ring and we knew it was the dispatcher notifying him there was an outage and “people were without electricity” or “the plants at the Mid-America Industrial District are down.”
As you might assume, the majority of the time it was increment weather, but you would think it was 75° and sunny regardless if it was midnight or 3:00 am, because he would gladly say, “I’ll be there just as soon as I can get there.”
When I was younger, I didn’t quite understand why Dad wasn’t home for dinner, missed the family reunion, couldn’t come watch me cheer, had to cancel the rare occasion when going out to eat, didn’t get to go to Branson with us, even missed my wedding rehearsal. But it was always explained to me that people were without electricity and he knew some might be elderly, sick, handicapped needing medical attention, or hospitals. On one of those call-outs (huge snowstorm in 1968), Dad worked 48 hours straight.
I never doubted my Dad’s love and concern for us as a family, because he gave that same kind of availability to us and our home life on the farm.
To me, that is availability – going when asked, voluntarily going without asking, understanding the importance of assistance…..being ready, willing, and able.
“The concept of availability has the greatest impact when those who are in positions of influence model it.”—Nathan Mellor, CEO Strata Leadership