Robert Putnam wrote a book about the demise of the American community because of disconnection from families, organizations and neighborhoods. The metaphor he used to describe this demographic shift was bowling alone, the title of the book.

Putnam’s theory doesn’t seem to resonate with my experience with bowling. The new 30-lane alley in our town was bustling with leagues when I last saw it, and it seems to be a thriving activity in other places.

I guess bowling has retained its popularity because it is still an activity that people of all ages and skill levels can do — anyone can bowl. And although this does not imply that anyone can bowl well, even novices feel like they came so close to getting a strike or hitting that last pin standing. At the start of each frame, most everyone hits something, so it is more about the positive than not.

Take a lesson from bowling and give yourself a second chance. Each frame allows for two balls, not just one. It’s a good mantra to follow in other areas of life as well.

beth triplett

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

Dr. beth triplett is the owner of leadership dots, offering coaching, training and consulting for new supervisors. She also shares daily lessons on her leadershipdots blog. Her work is based on the leadership dots philosophy that change happens through the intentional connecting of small steps in the short term to the big picture in the long term.

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