A local college just held their inaugural football game and the coach was quoted as saying: “What keeps me up right now is the one critical thing I might have forgotten about. It’s the little stuff. The coin for the coin flip. The towels for the balls…There were basic things that I didn’t even think about…I’m almost not even worried about the football yet.”

His comments underscore the importance of that foundational infrastructure that is so second nature everyone takes it for granted. It’s only when an event happens for the first time or in a different environment that people become conscious of the details: when a meeting is held off-site, a meal is planned for the park instead of the kitchen, sleeping involves a tent instead of hotel, etc. Suddenly, people realize that they need to plan to have enough chairs, to bring the forks, and to remember the pillow and flashlight.

Doing something for the first time or doing it in a new location triggers another dimension of planning. Don’t overlook the complexity that “new” brings. You need to have the coin and towels before you can kick off.

Source: Miguel Regalado as quoted in “Pride primed for 1st game in program history” by Brenden West in the Telegraph Herald, August 31, 2019, p. 1B.

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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