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Archive for May, 2011


Four Employees: A Lesson in Ownership

This is a story that’s been floating around for years about four people named Everbody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody.

“There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it.

It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done.”

I’m not sure who wrote it, but it provides a great lesson on the value of assigning ownership to important tasks and projects.


Grand Central Station and Chaos

If you could somehow hover in the air over Grand Central Station during high-volume traffic and observe the masses coming and going, it would probably look like total chaos.

It is not chaos.

Admittedly, things look chaotic. But you can tell it’s not really chaos when they announce track changes. Such an unexpected change in plans is easily taken in stride by commuters.

From your point of view, you would only see subtle shifts in the movement patterns of the people below. Ever so slight adjustments and everything quickly gets “back on track” so to speak. This is primarily because everyone knows where they are ultimately going.

Having reasonable clarity about your ultimate destination helps you easily deal with unexpected changes, detours, etc.

This is true in Grand Central Station, it is true at work, it is true in life!

Written by Chris Crouch, developer of the GO System training course.


Capture Cards

For those of you that have taken my GO System training course, you received a set of capture cards in your packet.  One of the best ways to capture incoming items is by simply writing them down on a 3-by-5 index card.  Keep a few cards with you all the time and get in the habit of writing each item on a separate card.  Since they are portable, require no batteries and will easily fit in a pocket, they are great for capturing things when you are away from your office – like verbal requests and voice mail messages.  When you return to your office, you can make one of the five decisions we discussed on each card and decide what to do with it next.  If it is a follow-up item that needs to go in your 1 to 31 file, tape it to a full-size sheet of paper and put it in the appropriate file. 

Stop relying on your memory to keep up with everything. Carry a few 3×5 index cards with you and write down important things you want to follow up on.

Try this for a day or two and you will be surprised how well it works and how quickly you get used to using the cards as a memory aid.   

Click here to download a printable capture card!  capture card


Here one moment, gone the next

Here today, gone tomorrow.  Here one moment, gone the next.

This pretty much sums up what happened last week with the tornadoes in Alabama.  My family and I feel very fortunate that we had no damage or loss.  Unfortunately, many others were not as lucky. 

For his book The Power of Purpose, author Dick Leider interviewed hundreds of people in their 70s and 80s. He asked them a simple question: If you could live your life over, what would you change?

Many wished they had taken more time to reflect on the big picture. They were so busy with day-to-day issues, including crisis management, that they truly missed living their lives.

Remember to take a little time for reflection every so often. It will serve you well.  You never know what tomorrow will bring…