Blog FPO

Gardian of the Month: Erik Wakefield

Q & A with Erik Wakefield, consultant, Wakefield Consulting, and consultant for Event Garde.

Q: Learn: How do you learn best? In a coffee shop with lots of noise or in a quiet, library-like setting?
A: I’d like to think I learn best with people around me because I’m a social person, but I will admit that I learn best in a quiet area where I can truly focus. For me, that’s my home office with my beagle laying at my feet.

Q: Network: Tell us about one of your favorite personal or professional networks. What makes it special? 
A: I enjoy the Minnesota Change Management Network (MNCMN), as every program I’ve been able to attend is truly valuable and they are very intentional about building in networking time during and after their monthly summits. The people MNCMN attracts are very focused on networking and helping connect people, so participating in happy hours for that purpose is significant.  

Q: Transfer: Tell us about an experience in which you learned something new and then applied it to your personal or professional life.
A: I am learning every day and love it! On a recent camping trip with friends, I took the time to hang out with some of the kids as they were exploring the campgrounds. They found some thick vines hanging from a tree and used them to climb instead of climbing the tree branches. While I had noticed the vines, I hadn't given any thought to their presence or usefulness until the kids got so excited by them and started scaling them. Slowing down to see the world through a child’s eyes opens up surprises and wonders that are easy for busy adults to overlook. My key learning was to slow down and take everything in, considering the purpose and value of each aspect of a situation, problem or adventure. This helps drive innovative solutions that are sometimes much simpler than the ones our brains have been trained to create.

Q: Please share with us a resource you can’t live without.
A: I love to laugh and my go-to are memes. There are many Facebook groups that deliver memes regularly to you, so I subscribe to some of them. Also, if I'm working on something with a group, I will use Google to find a meme appropriate to the project and share it out for a moment of fun. 

Q: If you could live someone else’s life for a day, who would it be, and why?  
A: I would want to be one of the explorers who ventured into a new area of the planet never seen before, like Magellan who circumnavigated the globe or Roald Amundsen, the first explorer to reach the South Pole. Exploring new places is the ultimate fun for me and these people pushed the boundaries of our knowledge of our planet.

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