Engagement by Walking Around in Business and at Work

At last year’s Troy Victorian Stroll, I walked with my friend and colleague Linda for a couple of hours. I was dressed for 2013; Linda (on the left, below) was dressed for 1883:

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The Troy Stroll is always great fun. Linda’s organization, the Rensselaer County Regional Chamber of Commerce, runs the Stroll.  I’ve been a member of the Chamber for several years, and I’ve attended the Stroll for many more years. As I walked with Linda last year, we visited a number of business venues in downtown Troy, many of them fellow Chamber members. Linda was on the clock, and I was an interested bystander.

As I parted company with Linda last year, she suggested that I don a Victorian costume this year and walk with her again. I scored a great purple ensemble on eBay, and in full Victorian mode, I walked with Linda at this year’s Stroll:

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Aside from the obvious attention I garnered from walking around in my bright purple Victorian frock, the walking-around vibe was decidedly different on several levels:

  • I greeted every passerby with spontaneous gusto, and most of them beamed their appreciation back (including a little girl who was fascinated by the bulk of my skirt created by the voluminous borrowed crinoline I wore);
  • I ran into several of my downtown Troy clients during our walk – it was great to see them in our walkable business community, enjoying the event as much as me;
  • I felt like I was inside of the event, rather than watching it as an observer – it made the experience richer and more meaningful;
  • It was great meeting newer Chamber members during the course of this year’s walk (and their beautiful businesses gave me some new venues for future lunch and dinner meetings).

It reminded me of the satisfaction that I would experience when I was the HR Director for a large retailer, and the VP of Logistics and I would don our warehouse “play clothes” and help pick and pack product for our stores during the peak holiday season. Like the Stroll, I was engaged in the central work of my business, helping to achieve deadlines with the rest of my team (willing and able to get dusty / dirty during the process), rather than being tethered all the time to my computer, trapped in my office, on the outside looking in.

How will you take the opportunity to engage with your team this week (and every week), in business and at work?


Linda, me and her great team at the Rensselaer County Regional Chamber of Commerce, just before we started to Stroll.

Linda, me and her great team at the Rensselaer County Regional Chamber of Commerce, just before we started to Stroll.

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