Play-Doh and goals

play-doh.pngSo this is how it usually goes. You’re two years old and you get your first can of Play-Doh. After the obligatory creation of a rolled out Play-Doh snake and a flattened pancake, you are off to something more adventurous.

Sooner or later you muster enough courage to taste a small sampling of your Play-Doh. Even to the most refined two-year-old palette, it doesn’t taste half bad – in fact, it might have even sustained you through the “new vegetable exploration” stage your parents subjected you to.

But eventually you were left with only one more right of passage that all kids with a can Play-Doh must pass through successfully. It is the combining of all Pay-Doh colors into one swirly ball of mashed-up goodness. Unfortunately, this seems to be the final resting state of all Play-Doh everywhere in the world – an intermixed, mashed-up hardened clump of remains from a once malleable, creative substance.

You know come to think of it, mixing up your Play-Doh colors is a lot like mixing up long-term needs and short-term wants. For example, most companies seek long-term relationships with customers. But in the heat of the playroom boardroom, they intermix this long-term vision with their short-term want to make investors happy by hitting their quarterly forcasts and so they begin to abuse their customer’s trust by nickel and diming, going back on promises or watering down the customer experience. Once you lose focus on the long-term and chase after shortsighted pleasures, game over. The idea is to keep your long-term needs and short-term wants as separate as possible. Once they are intermixed, just like Play-Doh, you will dry out, crack into pieces and be placed on the shelf where you are soon forgotten (a very lonely outcome).

Happy Thursday!

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Good enough

These two little words have kept many people in second-rate jobs, selling mediocre products to pretty good customers. Nobody wins and nobody loses (at least that is what we tell ourselves). The fact is, when it comes to things that matter, “good enough” is the enemy of excellence.

“Wait a minute!” you exclaim. “I thought ‘awful’ was the enemy of excellence?” Nope. Awful knows it’s decidedly bad and doesn’t care. “Good enough” pretends to more that it is. “Good enough” is lazy and hollow. “Good enough” wastes resources just to maintain the status quo.

When it comes to things that matter, never settle for “good enough” and only strive for excellence.

A reminder…

It’s January 23rd. Do you know where your New Year’s resolutions are?

2007 New Year’s resolutions

If you are having a hard time coming up with the right New Year’s Resolutions for you, let me get you stared down the right road with a poem by Sue Bender that hangs in our house:

Listening
to your heart
is not so simple.

It takes time to for
the chatter to quiet down.
In the silence of “not doing”
we begin to know
what we feel.

If we listen and hear
what is being offered,
then anything in life
can be our guide.
Listen.