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Ideas worth keeping serve as reminders of work we’d like to do, ways in which we would like to lead, and people we’d like to learn more from. The following reminders are gems I’ve unearthed while massively cleaning the office, sorting through bookshelves, emptying out files that were long-ago no longer useful, and reminding myself of all the work I have successfully done, written, and shared. Here are the ideas, notes and quotes I think you’ll enjoy the most.

  • Gossamer Condor article notes: The piece reminded readers to “dare to be naïve” to be able to see things in a fresh, new way. Maybe it even means to have the ability to make such good life decisions that you keep yourself safe and healthy, to the point that some people call you naïve! In another part of the piece, it suggests that we each develop an ability to spot what is important so you know what to say “yes” to and what to say “no” to. Sound familiar? Remember my book NO! ?
  • “No.” says the single large-font word at the top of a full-page ad in The Wall Street Journal, May 9, 2006 from BMW. It goes on to say: “The ability to say no to compromise is a rare thing these days. Many companies would like to be able to say it, but so few have the autonomy to actually do it. As an independent company, BMW can say no. No, we will not compromise our ideas. No, we will not do it the way everyone else does it. No, we will not factor designs down to the lowest common denominator. No, we will not sell out to a parent company who will meddle in our affairs and ask us to subject our cars to mass market vanilla-ism. Because we can say no to compromise, we can say yes to other things – such as building …..It’s thousands of little things like this that separate us…By maintain our autonomy and ability to say no, we can make sure great ideas live on…”  I say YES, this is a good reminder!
  • “A good poem or a good tale takes us farther than we planned to go” writes Jeanette Ross in her book Telling our Tales. Upon my first reading in 2003, I added the note “so does a good leader!”
  • “The most powerful thing a small company can say is, No,” says Jeff Swartz in Inc. Magazine (March 2007). Right now, I myself say NO to fear, and NO to becoming mediocre in the face of crisis. We all can hold ourselves to high standards, despite the challenges we currently face.
  • “Add value to the world” says John P. Schuster in his book Answering Your Call (2003, Berrett-Koehler). Some questions from John’s book and my KBOI Momentum radio show interview:
    • How are the small things a part of our call?
    • How will you add value to the world?
    • What are you yearning, or craving, to do? This is a part of your calling.
    • What conversations can you be prompting with those around you to provoke more meaning?
    • Attempting to do what we are meant for brings joy. What are you meant for?
  • 101 Ways to Say Thank You by Kelly Browne (2015, Sterling). Great tips for e-correspondence and letters in every need-to-say-thank you situation. Love her Sage Tips and checklists in every section.
  • From the Fridge-files: magnets hold a dozen messages to our refrigerator doors at home.
    • “Believe There is Good in the World” says t-shirt photo I took at the Minnesota State Fair several years ago. The white letter message is over-layered with a green letter message that reads “Be The Good.” Thanks UofM Extension 4-H.
    • Lagniappe and the state of Louisiana. This round magnet came from friends leaving Boise, returning to New Orleans to live a half-dozen years ago. This reminds us to “add something a little extra to help others feel good.” The actual definition is: “to give something as a bonus or extra gift.” Thanks Rich and Sue!
  • Plus, many of the creative people who are out of work are producing an amazing set of computer-camera and cellphone recorded music; not to mention that some musicians are providing free online concerts each day or so. Take it in. Celebrate the GOOD and JOY being electronically shared – for free.

What reminders and gems have you unearthed during office cleaning, stay-home-to-work days? What do you wish you would have found?

Workplace: Managing the moments of our day-to-day business lives takes work. Together, let’s explore what issues and activities affect us every day (or some days) that we go to work. – Jana

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