While yesterday’s dot considered many of the steps that occur in the food chain as they relate to safety, A. J. Jacobs thought about all the people it took to make his cup of coffee possible and approached the topic from a perspective of gratitude. Jacobs set out to thank all those who contributed to his morning cup of java and ended up thanking over 1000 people from all around the world.

If you think about who is involved in providing AJ’s coffee you may list a barista, trucker or farmer – but his list included those who made the asphalt for the road the trucks drove on, the person who provides pest control for the bean storage warehouse and the architect who built it, the person who invented the coffee cup lid and those who made the bean-harvesting machine in Brazil.

Jacobs notes that when something is done well, the process behind it is largely invisible. We don’t spend much time thinking about those who make our food or infrastructure or way of life possible, but focusing intentionally on doing so allows us to savor the experience more fully. As Jacob says, take time to “smell the roses. And the dirt. And the fertilizer.”

Thanks, Brian!

 See AJ Jacobs’ TED Talk here


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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