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Monday, March 18, 2013

It's Not About The Tea...Or Is It?

I heard two quotes repeated frequently from Sheryl Sandberg who I had the wonderful fortune to meet.  While I don't know who said them to her, I am happy that she shared them with her teams. They are:

"Solve more problems than you cause." and "This is a marathon, not a sprint."

In life I have thought of these often.  More recently, I have used them for inspiration to run my own business.

Is it possible that I'm just jumping on the Sheryl Sandberg bandwagon?  Maybe, but I have always admired her smarts and her ability.  And, even if I am caught up in the Lean In frenzy, I say "So what?"   It's exciting.  It's inspiring.  It's empowering.  Especially for women!

Sheryl is smart.  Sheryl is a problem solver.  She takes on tough questions and finds ways to handle difficult situations.  She doesn't complain.  She just does.  I admire these qualities.  I look for role models who exemplify them.  I strive to incorporate them into my life, my marriage and my work.  Sheryl gets things done, big things.  She shows us that we need to stop dancing around the issues.  We all need to focus on solving problems and remember that it doesn't happen over night.  It takes drive.  It takes hard work.  It takes curiosity.  It takes compassion.  It takes passion.  It takes many things.

So, as I sat down to write this blog post knowing that Sheryl Sandberg has been solving problems (big problems) for a while and doing it very well, I wondered why anyone would want to hear about notes from a fledgling business owner like me.  I also wondered why I felt the need to write this post in the first place.

And then, I came up with this:

Maybe you can solve the big things when you start with the small ones.  Over the last eight weeks I've learned so much.  These are the things that help me get through my day and make things better.  Here's my short list:

- Listen to people.  Everyone has something important to say.
- Accept feedback gracefully.  All advice is worth listening to.
- Everyone has their own opinion.  Like it.  We're lucky we live where opinions can be shared.
- Don't procrastinate.  Procrastination is a waste of time.
- Over-thinking things will get you nowhere.  If you have important things to do, do them.  Don't think.
- Don't obsess.  Focus on contributing to society instead.  It's much more fulfilling.
- Make mistakes. Accept them.  Fix them.  Move on.
- Be decisive.  Waffling gets you nowhere and wastes other peoples' time in the process.
- Say what you mean.
- As the Avett Brothers say "Decide what to be and go be it."
- Surround yourself with the best people and appreciate them for making everything around you better.
- Tell people you appreciate them.  Tell them a lot.
- Working in teams is so much better than working alone.
- Live with integrity.
- Be honest always.  Everyone can spot a liar and nobody likes one.
- Exercise.
- Take deep breaths.
- Be curious.
- Help people.  Don't feel bad for them.
- Don't judge.  It's a waste of time.
- Don't gossip if you want to make the world a better place.

Having said all of that, have I mastered the list?  No. I keep trying though.  The learning curve in my new business is steep and I don't expect it to taper anytime soon.  I do know that everyone I meet teaches me something.  I suspect the above list will grow quite a bit over the next year.

Over the last eight weeks, I've learned that you really can learn a lot about life over tea.  It sounds romantic, but I can honestly say it's true for me.  It's not about the tea.  It's about the people you share it with.  I've got lot's of problems to solve.  So does everyone.  Let's take a lesson from Sheryl Sandberg and go do it.  Afterall, "This is a marathon, not a sprint."

1 comment:

  1. I just wanted to comment on the March 18th thoughts. . . thank you for such beautifully written, inspired words that will make my morning begin happily. What a nice way to start the day-well, that and a nice cup of tea!



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