Project Open Hand, A Giving Experience

 As interns at RaceTrac, we decided to participate in a volunteer event at Project Open Hand, a charity that provides meals to persons with disabilities.  Arriving early on a Saturday morning, none of us knew what to expect out of this experience.  We were quickly shuffled into a meeting room where we had to sign liability waivers, and were shown a video on the charity.  Having an idea of what we were now getting into, it was time to suit up!  Project Open Hand really goes above and beyond when it comes to food safety.  I know what you’re thinking, hairnet right?  WRONG!  They decked me out in full food safety garb, that’s right, beard net, apron, and arm hair sleeves. I seriously looked like a hazmat operator/Santa Clause. 

After suiting up, we went into the kitchen where it was time to commence working.  To be honest it was actually a very efficient operation.  I was impressed with how many people lend their time to this organization that is dedicated to helping other people.  They were appreciative of the help that everyone was able to offer and they were dedicated to their cause.  Project open Hand delivers 4,000 meals a day in the Atlanta Area and being a part of this process gave me a greater appreciation for what they actually do.  Project Open Hand is responsible for helping many people in the area and they do it all out of their willingness to help others.  This was a great experience for me and opened my eyes to all the good that Project Open Hand does in the community.  I want to take the time to thank RaceTrac for organizing this event and allowing me to be a part of it. 

-Rachel Beauchamp, RaceTrac Intern

What I did on Summer Vacation

Our Talent Manager, Steve, gives us his thoughts from his summer vacation

Who’s Holding Your Ladder?

I had the opportunity to take a vacation the last week of June this year and I spent it with my family at the beach in South Carolina.  I enjoy that vacation every year, but this year it was particularly nice, and for a couple reasons.

1. Wow, I REALLY needed a vacation this year.  Everyone knows what it feels like to be stressed, tired, etc.  That’s why we are afforded vacation time to recharge our batteries when they are on empty and I certainly took advantage of the opportunity to fully recharge my battery.

2. I read Who’s Holding Your Ladder? by Samuel Chand and found it to be one of the most impactful leadership books I have read.

So what was so great about this book?  I mean, a leadership book, we have all read them, but what was so great about this book.  Who’s Holding Your Ladder? is a leadership book that focuses on picking a strong support team.   Mr. Chand describes this as a leader’s most difficult decision.

Do you focus on your team and teammates?  Or do you set limitations based on your own personal abilities?

To use a great example from Mr. Chand, I ask you, who out there has ever climbed Stone Mountain right here in Atlanta, GA?  Did you climb it alone?  There is a good chance many of you did.  Could you climb it alone?  Of course you could as it is nothing more than a casual stroll up a slight incline. 

Now, who out there has ever climbed Mt. Everest?  For those that have indeed climbed Mt. Everest, did you climb it alone?  Not a chance.  It takes a team, a very strong and skilled team to summit Mt. Everest.

So, now on to your question.  Steve, why would I go through selecting and training with a team to climb Mt. Everest when I can climb Stone Mountain on my own?  Great question, and I answer it like this.  Whether it is climbing a mountain, the corporate ladder, or achievements in your personal life you are absolutely limited to how high you can go if you choose to climb alone.  Strong and effective teams allow you to reach heights you could never reach solo. 

So, to quote Mr. Chand, “Who’s holding your ladder?”

With Introspective Thoughts,,

Talent Manager, Steve Isbill