Just as a trip to Honolulu should include a visit to Pearl Harbor, so should a trip to New York City include a visit to the 9-11 Memorial and Museum. Already the memory of that fateful day has faded in the American consciousness, but a trip to the Memorial will bring back all of the emotion that you felt 17 years ago.

I applaud the foresight that people had to gather and preserve elements of the attack in order to be able to vividly tell the story in the future. Pieces of twisted steel, missing person flyers, ashes, destroyed vehicles and answering machine recordings all served to make the disaster real. I wonder who painted “save” on one of the support pillars or picked up newspapers from that morning to illustrate the ordinary way the day began.

I doubt there was a Port Authority archivist, or anyone specifically assigned to gather artifacts at the site, but our history is much more memorable because someone had the presence of mind to do so. Many organizations don’t have the forethought to save key elements of their organization’s history and it is lost forever. Don’t let your organization be one that relies only on two-dimensional mementos to tell its story.

 

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

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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