I had to write something down in a hurry and the only writing instrument available was a Sharpie, so as I have done with pens on countless occasions, I grabbed it and scribbled down the information on my hand.

When I came home and tried to wash it off, I had no luck. So, what did I do next? Googled it, of course. I tried all of its suggestions – nail polish remover, milk (?!), cleansing cream, and soap. I substituted hand sanitizer for rubbing alcohol (since none is to be found in a pandemic), and also tried Goo-Gone, hand lotion, baby oil and Dawn. As you can see from the photo, it’s still there days later.

Normally, Google and YouTube serve as the go-to resource; we tap a few keys and expect an elegant solution to be explained in understandable terms within seconds, so it struck me as unusual that Google failed me this time. When I was thinking about what people did before these tools, I realized that they would ask others. You could call your parents, ask a neighbor or co-worker, or try to figure it out yourself.

Google and YouTube are wonderful resources and have helped countless DIY-ers. And, there is something wonderful about helping each other. People deepen bonds and connections when they are able to be of service. Most people like dispensing wisdom and feeling like they were able to assist a friend in need.


The next time you have a simple dilemma, perhaps turn to a buddy instead of to Google and give them the satisfaction of helping you out. They may even have a solution that turns out to work!

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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