By "Jim Lein, Oracle Midsize-Oracle" on Jun 12, 2014
by Jim Lein, Oracle Midsize Programs
Every successful company, personal accomplishment, and philanthropic endeavor starts with one good idea. I have my best
ideas on Friday evenings. The creative side of my brain is stimulated by
end of week endorphins. Free thinking. Anything is possible. But, as my
kids love to remind me, most of Dad's Friday Night Big Ideas (FNBIs)
fizzle on the drawing board. Usually there's one barrier blocking the
way that seems insurmountable by noon on Monday.
For example, trekking the 486 mile Colorado Trail is on my bucket list. Since I have a job, I'll have to do it in bits and pieces--day hikes, weekends, and a vacation week here and there. With my trick neck, backpacking is not an option. How to survive equip myself for overnight backcountry travel was that one seemingly insurmountable barrier.
Lewis and Clark wouldn't have given up so I explored options and, as I blogged about back in December, I had an FNBI to hire llamas to carry my load. Last weekend, that idea came to fruition. Early Saturday morning, I met up with Bill, the owner of Antero Llamas, for an overnight training expedition along segment 14 of the Colorado Trail with a string of twelve llamas. It was a crash course on learning how to saddle, load, pasture, and mediate squabbles. Amazingly, we left the trailhead with me, the complete novice, at the lead.
Instead of trying
to impart three decades of knowledge on me in two days, Bill taught me
two things: "Go With the Flow" and "Plan B". It worked. There were times
I would be lost in thought for long stretches of time until one snort
would remind me that I had a string of twelve llamas trailing behind.
A funny thing happened along the trail...
Up until last Saturday, my plan had been to trek all 28 segments
of the trail east to west and sequentially. Out of some self-imposed
sense of decorum. That plan presented myriad logistical challenges such
as impassable snow pack on the Continental Divide when segment 6 is up
next. On Sunday, as we trekked along the base of 14,000 ft peaks, I applied Bill's llama handling philosophy to my
quest and came up with a much more realistic and enjoyable strategy for
achieving my goal. Seize opportunities to hike regardless of order.
Define my own segments. Go west to east for awhile if it makes more
sense. Let the llamas carry more creature comforts. Chill out.
I will still set foot on all 486 miles of the trail. Technically, the end result will be the same.And I and my traveling companions--human and camelid--will enjoy the journey more. Much more.
Got Big Ideas of Your Own?
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I evangelize Oracle's enterprise solutions for growing midsize companies. I recently celebrated 15 years with Oracle,
having joined JD Edwards in 1999. I'm based in Evergreen, Colorado and
love relating stories about creativity and innovation whether they be
about software, live music, or the mountains. The views expressed here are my own, and not necessarily those of Oracle.