Green Juice and Green Lights

My commute to work is about 14 miles. On a normal day it takes me roughly 30 minutes to get from my mailbox to the office parking lot. On my way in earlier this week, I was craving a juice so I glanced at my clock to see if I had time to get one and still make our weekly Monday morning team meeting. I had 20 minutes until the meeting started and the juice bar was 10 minutes from the office – I calculated that I would make it as long as there were no unusual traffic patterns.

I purchased my ‘Fresh Greens’ and jumped in the car – 15 minutes until meeting time. As I approached my first turn, sipping on the cool green liquid that tasted like a summer yard (or as my kids say: “Tastes like you face-planted on a freshly-cut summer yard”), I was delighted to see that the two lanes of traffic to my left and to my right were absolutely open. I felt a little surge of happiness as I pulled across two lanes and a turning lane without so much as touching the brake.

Approximately 4 miles from the office, I had 8 traffic lights and a school zone to navigate. As I approached the first traffic light I smiled as it stayed green and then smiled a bit larger when the next light followed suit. Under the train trestle and down the hill, the big intersection was looming. I did a double take as the light at that intersection a 1/10 of a mile away turned green and stayed that way as I approached and crossed, only turning yellow in my review mirror. Driving up the hill to the next light and school zone I noted that exactly 1 minute had elapsed since I had pulled into traffic – that was so fast!

Now I was really noticing the lights – 3 greens in a row and I felt so efficient! As I approached the next light it turned green and I looked to see if maybe there was an important motorcade around. The school zone slowed me down, but without a stop I maintained the required 15 MPH which put me at traffic light number 4 just as it turned green. With that one I ‘whooped’ out loud and began thinking about the next 3 lights. There was no way they would be green too. Nervously, I took another sip of my vitamin-enriched weed liquid…they were green. Every. Last. One. I pulled into the parking lot and noticed a lighter spring in my step and a feeling of joy and ease. It had taken half the normal time to travel those 4 or so miles. I hit every single green light and the impact was the absolute opposite of frustration.

Sitting in our team meeting, I shared this story and asked that everyone reflect on how we can create a ‘green light’ experience for our employees and clients. How can we make their experiences seem efficient, easy – like they are getting special treatment? I decided to form a team at our company to do exactly that – analyze the time it takes to get things done and remove the obstacles, to get the lights synchronized green. I am going to bring some fresh, green juice to the first meeting.

– Becky Sharpe, President & CEO

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