Throughout most days, I find myself happiest when I feel like a kid playing in the sandbox with my friends. I often feel this way at work.
Sometimes, I get sad because I usually like to build BIG sandcastles and share my shovel and pail with everyone. Others don’t always want to build and share like I do. If I’ve had enough sleep and a good meal before I play in the sandbox, I tend to move right through these conflicts. If I am hangry, I periodically feel like throwing sand and stomping off in a huff because people won’t build and share nicely the way I do.
Last week, I started looking, with a more detailed lens, at the actual sand in the sandbox. I noticed some shards of glass I hadn’t seen before. One of my friends, (an event co-chair), who was playing with me, mentioned that perhaps we’d set our expectations too high. After all, what we are embarking on together is a new endeavor and the friends we are approaching are new to ORT. Perhaps the impressive sandcastle I envisioned, pitched and already started to build,is really only meant to be the foundation this year, for a sandcastle we’ll continue to build throughout the next few years.
At first, I wasn’t sure about my friend’s assessment, but as I thought more about it, (which I am one to almost always do), I realized that she was absolutely right. I had been so enthusiastic about playing with my awesome friends, I’d forgotten to utilize my sand sifter so I could more accurately identify, assess, and customize the strategy BEFORE we could actually embark on creating a ginormous sandcastle.
It is my job to lead the play differently in our sandbox. Our strategy isn’t to rid the sandbox of the shards of glass, but rather to put more attention on the process of sifting and polishing the glass and returning it to our diverse and increasingly beautiful sandbox.
Yes, I am a fundraiser, a marketer, and many other things too. BUT, for me, nothing comes before professional and leadership development. If this is strong in an organization, the sand becomes smooth, the glass and stone pebbles in the sandbox glisten, and the mission is moved forward. Shards of glass and hard rocks invariably come in and out. and that is wonderful. I just need to use all of the right tools.
THIS, is my goal above all others.