#578 beginning

Martha Stewart started her career with a simple catering business out of her basement.  As she told Oprah, “And then I realized the business had better be documented somehow, because if I ever was to have grandchildren, they would not know what Grandma had been doing in that kitchen.  So I documented it in a book called Entertaining, and that totally turned the tide for me, because then I became a real expert.”

Think about things that you do which could benefit from documentation.  Maybe it’s not a book (yet), but do you need the recipe for “Mom’s famous dish” that you had over the holidays?  Can your sister show you how to tie those magnificent bows?  Maybe you need directions to that great little restaurant or the name of that fabulous wine you shared?  

At work, we could all benefit from having a “If-I’m-Hit-By-a-Bus” procedures manual, but we can also document things for special projects, strategy sessions, orientation processes and more.

Martha’s Entertaining started her empire.  What talents do you have that could (should?) be documented and shared with others?  There’s nothing like a new year to resolve to start writing.

— beth triplett
leadershipdots.blogspot.com
@leadershipdots
leadershipdots@gmail.com


Source:  Oprah interview of Martha Stewart, September 2000 “O” Magazine, p. 302

#577 the buzzer

Over the holidays I was able to watch my nephew play in a high school basketball tournament.  The game was engaging, partially because we were ahead for the entire contest — until the 2 minute mark.  At that juncture we were up by 10 points, but suddenly the team made some turnovers and allowed a few three-point shots to be scored against them — and to overtime we went. 

And then to double overtime — and our guy scored a free throw with seconds remaining — but the ref said that his foot was on the line.  So the bucket did not count and we headed into triple overtime.

After all that, unfortunately we lost the hard-fought contest.  The players were physically exhausted; the fans were emotionally exhausted and it was a sad way to end the afternoon.

I thought back to the final two minutes — oh, if we could replay them again.  Take a lesson from this game and resolve to keep up the intensity until the very end — even if it appears that such an expenditure of energy is not necessary.  The game isn’t over until the final buzzer sounds.

— beth triplett
leadershipdots.blogspot.com
@leadershipdots
leadershipdots@gmail.com

#576 two rules

A Guest Services Coordinator shared two rules that she lives by:

1.  The best idea wins (no matter who has it)

2.  Everything affects everything else.

Based on this alone, I am sure she is fantastic in her job.  How can you adopt her wisdom an apply it in your own world?

— beth triplett
leadershipdots.blogspot.com
@leadershipdots
leadershipdots@gmail.com


Source:  Furman University 2008

#575 a minute

In days gone by, people wrote long letters to each other to keep up on thoughts and news. Today, our contacts have become much shorter.  Even an email seems long as compared to a “Like” on Facebook, a quick text, a SnapChat or other modern forms of communication.


On one hand, this makes it much easier to keep connected with people.  No need for a large block of time to write or call; you can say “I’m thinking of you” in a few seconds.  I liken it to sending a postcard instead of a letter.

On the other hand, the speed at which we can communicate elevates expectations about frequency.  Clients, family and friends all have so many contacts coming to them, that if we are out of touch, for many we likely are also out of mind.

How do you incorporate a system to keep in touch with those who are important to you? Instead of being daunted by the prospect, think of it as spending one of your 1,440 minutes each day letting someone else know that they’re on your mind.

— beth triplett
leadershipdots.blogspot.com
@leadershipdots
leadershipdots@gmail.com


#574 hostas

“Gift bags are the hostas of gift wrapping.”

My sister said that when we were at the wrapping party (described in blog #569).  What she meant by her saying was that when you don’t really want to garden, you plant hostas.  When you don’t really want to wrap, you use gift bags.

But I took it to mean that gift bags, like hostas, never seem to go away.  I split my plants and try to reduce their number, but somehow I always have huge plants in the garden anyway.  I occasionally use gift bags, but invariably I am given more gifts in bags and my inventory seems to grow instead of diminish.

Is there something in your organization that seems to linger, despite your best attempts to rid yourself of it?  A tradition that won’t die?  A problem client that never leaves you?  An unresolved sticky situation that keeps rearing its ugly head?

There are things in every organization that are like hostas — nearly impossible to kill.  Treat your hosta situation the same way you treat those plants — with minimal energy and attention.  They will live on without any effort from you.

— beth triplett
leadershipdots.blogspot.com
@leadershipdots
leadershipdots@gmail.com



#573 steps

Sometimes it feels like we are walking on a long journey with nothing to show for our steps. We could take a lesson from artist Simon Beck who journeys through the snow and creates intentional patterns for the enjoyment of others. 

Take a moment to admire his amazing artistry:
http://angelicview.wordpress.com/2013/12/15/man-walks-all-day-to-create-massive-snow-patterns/

Beck knows that the nature of his work is temporary and will either melt away or be covered with a new snowfall, yet he still produces his art.  Many things others work on will be more lasting, yet many stop short of giving it the commitment that Beck does.

The next time you are involved in a project that does not produce immediate results, think of these images.  If you have the forethought and planning to know what journey you are on, and the persistence to walk the equivalent of “all day”, you too can produce something majestic for your organization.  

— beth triplett
leadershipdots.blogspot.com
@leadershipdots
leadershipdots@gmail.com