Don’t Flip

Featured above is a newspaper clipping from syndicated cartoon strip ‘Rose Is Rose’  by Pat Brady, circa 2000. Rose, a usually mild-mannered and well read housewife, is helping her son Pasquale with his homework.  The strip has been cleverly annotated in red ink by my very dear friend, Greg. He fast-forwarded to my future life as wife and mother, and labeled Rose – Joya.

Greg and I worked together in a Big-4 accounting firm at the time. I was a year or two ahead of him as a  Senior Accountant and often supervised him on client engagements. Part of my role was to review the work of the juniors and to make sure the audit files were up to standard. One day, he left this gem pinned to my cubicle wall. Rose’s acrobatic somersault reaction to Pascale’s homework errors, was to Greg (and possibly the rest of my junior team) a perfect representation of my over-reaction to their shortcomings. Apparently, I was a little “touchy about grammatical errors” back then.

People Won’t Care How Much You Know, Until They Know How Much You Care

I’ve kept this clipping all these years, not only a memento of funny and endearing experience. It was Greg’s way of telling me to “lighten up”, and it has served as a reminder to me over the years that we never get the best out of others by flipping out over their mistakes.

That day, eleven years ago, I had one of many opportunities to learn one of the most important lessons in leadership and in living. Maya Angelou summed it up well: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

If You’re Not Doing Something That Scares You…

July is here. The year 2011 is half over. To an optimist, this marks a unique threshold of opportunity: six more months to do more, see more, learn more, be more.

What have you done with your first six months? Are you happy? Are you satisfied? Do you feel a sense of accomplishment? These were some of the questions running through my mind in the last couple of days. More importantly, I asked myself: what will you do with the next six months?

I was inspired to start a blog after recently finishing Gary Vaynerchuk’s book ‘Crush It!’. One of the central learning points his book left with me is the concept of developing a personal brand.

This really scared me. I’ve believed in good, old fashioned hard work to get me where I am today. I have mostly ‘kept my head down’ and avoided ‘sucking up’ and ‘brown-nosing’. And while I consider myself to be a reasonably open person, there’s a dichotomy in my personality that makes me intensely reserved. I don’t talk much. I’m not quiet or shy, but I believe in keeping ideas not yet fully formed to myself.

The thought of sharing my day-to-day experiences, moments of inspiration, fledgling opinions and embryonic passions with world left me feeling terrified. And yet here I am. I figure if you’re not doing something that scares you, then you’re probably not really growing.

Here’s to personal growth and happiness. Welcome to my world.