At a basketball game, I was fortunate enough to sit next to Sophie, a gorgeous black lab. Sophie is a service-dog-in-training and was at the game to help her become socialized and accustomed to loud noises.

What intrigued me about Sophie is that the family who brought her is fostering her – just for this weekend. It’s part of the socialization process to have the dogs spend time with different people in new environments. This family has this weekend with this dog, then another weekend with another dog, etc.

So often we think of commitments as all or nothing but there really are many more options in between. Maybe you aren’t in a position to own a dog or foster it for extended periods, but could you socialize one for a few weekends? The same is true in most other settings: you can volunteer for one night at the soup kitchen without having to sign up for every week; you could make calls one time for your candidate without volunteering to canvass nightly, or you can help with one event without committing to the committee.

The next time you do nothing because you can’t do everything, think of Sophie and say yes to one part.

 

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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