When we went to watch a movie in our vacation rental, everyone was glad that we had an electrical engineer in the family to navigate the complex array of remotes required for the movie to play. The owner clearly had anticipated our confusion – as she was kind enough to leave instructions as to the purpose of the six different remotes – but did it need to be that challenging?

There was enough media equipment in the home to accommodate videos, DVDs and streaming. On one hand, it provided a larger array of entertainment options, but on the other hand, it necessitated a multitude of remotes, moving of cable wires and connectors and about as long to queue up the movie as it took to watch it.

Sometimes we need to pull the plug – literally – on the old way. Declare a moment where it’s time to make the switch – phasing out the old and only supporting the new. The energy and complexity required to maintain multiple systems – in the vacation home entertainment console and more importantly, in your organization, is counterproductive.


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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