#1339 childhood

The other day I had a crazy craving for Macaroni and Cheese.  I am not sure why, but it was a staple of my childhood, and perhaps I just wanted to capture some of the good feelings from that time. So I went to the store and bought a box to prepare for dinner.

I was surprised to find the copy on the box acknowledged that I wasn’t the only adult who bought this product as comfort food. It read: “imported from your childhood.” I’m sure back in the day, we didn’t read the (un)nutrition label or worry about the fat and calories it contained. It was just “gooey, cheesy goodness” and it tasted great (just as it did now.)

What elements of your childhood can you bring forward to provide peace and connectedness in your adult world? Are there toys or treasures that can be displayed in your home? Perhaps an article of clothing from when you were a tot? Maybe it is a song that reminds you of carefree days?

The good ‘ole days weren’t all good, but parts of them were. See if you can’t intentionally carry a piece of the good forward into your life today.

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



#1338 confetti

Birthdays have always been a big deal in my family, and apparently they are quite important for Stephanie Frazier Grimm’s family too. But Stephanie took her thoughts a step further and considered all the children who are in the hospital for their birthdays.  She wanted to be the one who brought celebrations to these children.

So Stephanie started The Confetti Foundation, an organization that provides birthday party kits to children in the hospital. Each kit consists of partyware, coloring pages, crayons, a banner and handmade birthday cards, all packaged in a wrapped box like a present.  The foundation is always seeking volunteers to make cards or provide party kits for distribution*.  

The Confetti Foundation was started by one person with an idea.  Now it serves 95 hospitals around the country and has given 845 party boxes to sick children.

What idea do you have that you can scale to help others? Is there a way you can translate “thinking good” into “doing good?” Foundations are often at the intersection of passion and need.  Think about what resides on that corner in your life.

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


*see FAQs for more details on how to help


#1337 comparing

Last weekend, I was on the hunt for a new copier/printer/scanner. This was no easy task as there are many models that all appear to be equal. The price for the exact same item ranged from $79 to $104 and there were many different all-in-ones that were for substantially less. 

I was ready to buy one of the cheaper versions, until I read an on-line review that claimed “it drinks ink for breakfast, lunch and dinner.”  Suddenly, paying more up front seemed like a better deal than paying over and over again. There is so much information available on line these days that it is easy to price shop and compare — but only on the initial purchase. The real cost comes in after you buy an item, and that is hard to know.

There are many items that have a lower up-front cost than the price of overall ownership: A blouse that needs to be dry-cleaned after each wearing. A free puppy that still requires a decade of food and expensive vet bills even if they remain healthy. A first car, which can seem manageable on a teenager’s income, until they factor in gas, insurance and repair. And this printer, which ended up costing me $79, but one round of new ink was $134. (Hopefully, this model isn’t thirsty and I don’t need to double my investment with regularity!) 

When you are “price matching” or looking for the latest bargain, remember that the cost is on the lifetime of the product, not just the initial outlay. Savings for the long term is more prudent than a deal at the start.

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

#1336 be challenged

Thirty years ago today (January 28, 1986) the Challenger Space Shuttle exploded 74 seconds after lift off. If you are old enough to have seen it, you undoubtedly remember exactly where you were when you heard the news. It was one of those moments that dumbfounded the nation and caused people to be glued to their television screens. (Thirty years ago there was no wide-spread Internet; I got a phone call to tell me about it and subsequently called others.)


As was discovered later, the cause of the explosion is likely the “O-rings” that were not meant to withstand the unusually cool temperatures of that day. Much has been written about the failed chain of communication and many fingers have been pointed in blame. The bottom line is that seven people died because the pressures to launch — given the hype of having “the first ordinary citizen in space” — outweighed the precautions to wait. 

We make decisions every day that are based on incomplete data and unknown risks. Usually a billion dollars and lives are not at stake, but the choices we make often have far-reaching implications for our organizations. Before you act too quickly to launch the rocket, be prudent about having enough information to make an informed decision. And if you are the one providing the information, share with confidence and not timidity, even if the pressures are high to fade into the background.   

The legacy of the Challenger is that it should challenge all of us to have the perseverance to influence a decision and the patience to wait when the uncertainty warrants.

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

#1335 too

About this time last year, I wrote about the drop in gas prices to a low, low $1.89 vs. the $3.19 that it had been just a year earlier.  Here we are, now looking at an even greater drop (to $1.69 in this area) and the lowest prices for crude oil since 2004.

The cost of oil is dropping so precipitously that it is having a more negative impact than positive when taken as a whole.  While consumers may be enjoying the decrease, they will also be adversely affected as stocks decline, businesses have difficulty and the market as a whole suffers.

It seems that there is a balance point for everything.  Too low of oil prices are a problem as are those which are too high.  A weather pattern that brings too hot of temperatures is no better than one that ushers in too cold. While we all know the perils of obesity, I just read that runway models will now be required to have a certain Body Mass Index because they have been deemed to be too thin.  Parents can be too aloof or too protective of their children; too strict or too lenient.  

And on it goes. Most decisions in life occur on a spectrum. There is a time for passion and a time for moderation. Take a moment to assess whether you are at your desirable level or whether your scales are “too” one way or the other. 

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

#1334 big top

An article in Time reported that Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey will retire elephants from its circus shows beginning this spring. I was stunned.

The elephant is the animal associated with the circus. They used to parade down Main Street when the circus came to town.  Dumbo is all about elephants under the Big Top.  Legions of kids have watched elephants perform stunts, spray water, toss peanuts and give rides. The circus just won’t be the same.

And yet, the show will go on. I am sure that Ringling Bros. will come up with a new act that uses technology or something else to wow the crowds. It won’t be the same, but it will survive.

What is your signature element and have you thought of how you would move forward without it? Has your “elephant” run its course and should be retired?  Never forget that progress involves change, and that nothing, not even the iconic elephants, can last forever.

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

#1333 the day after

A bad experience is like having to file a huge pile of papers.  

After being dumbfounded by the daunting nature of it all, you open a drawer and get distracted in the task. This allows you to think about other things, but then as soon as you close the drawer, the big stack of papers is in front of you and you instantly remember all over again.

You know the pile will diminish over time, but in the beginning it is hard to imagine.  So the best thing you can do is keep your nose in the drawer.  Pick up the papers and file them, one by one…

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