When Kim Dinan quit her job and set out on an adventure to see the world, a friend wasn’t sure how to commemorate the occasion. What do you give someone who has just sold everything that won’t fit into a backpack?

Her friend decided on a yellow envelope, filled with money and instructions to give the money away to others that they met through their adventures. The envelope came with three conditions: 1. Don’t overthink it, 2. Share your experiences and 3. Don’t feel pressured to give it all away.

What resulted were not only opportunities to help others, but a book and a lecture circuit to share Kim’s experiences. I heard Kim speak of her adventures and how doing something “unexpectedly kind” changes the energy of everything around you.

Like the 1% improvement principle I wrote about yesterday, Kim’s lessons shared the importance of small actions and how a little extra from the yellow envelope made such a difference in the lives of many. “The yellow envelope was magic,” she said. “It was a nudge that caused me to pay attention to opportunities to do good and be kind to someone else.”

You don’t need a literal yellow envelope to share the goodness with others, but it may be something special to pack into your next suitcase.



I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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