Organizational Excellence

People and Process Improvement

What’s Your “One Thing”?

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City Slickers Dialogue: Metro Man Mitch (Billy Crystal) and Cowpoke Curly (Jack Palance)

Curly: Do you know what the secret of life is? This. [holds up one finger]
Mitch: Your finger?
Curly: One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that and the rest don’t mean shit.
Mitch: But, what is the “one thing?”
Curly: [smiles] That’s what you have to find out.

My personal vision, developed 15 years ago: leave a legacy, make an impact. I have a detailed strategy and ever-adapting action plan to support that vision but won’t bore you with it here, except to say that my strategic pyramid is based on personal values, a few attributes that have been my deepest drivers since at least junior high. A long time ago! I am certain these are deep, personality-anchored values, not just transitory or behavioral based on where I am at present.

I’ve given it a good deal of thought, in part through the work on this project. I am certain my “One Thing” is to connect. That is what my personal well-being and engagement is dependent upon, and connecting will allow me to become an effective enabler of engagement for those in my circle of influence….my ticket to leaving a legacy, making an impact.

There are many different connections, one being the connection among all I do in my life. It flies in the face of work-life balance, but I Am What I Do. Am I just lucky enough to be involved in something that allows me to attack the whole enchilada at once, with one focus, and not have to be overly concerned with maintaining that precious balance? Or maybe I’m deluding myself and I really am a workaholic headed for burnout?

There is a lot at stake. Those dynamics bear close watching, and I’m on it!

I teach at a local college now and then, most recently my personal favorite Total Quality Management: Performance Excellence. “Total quality” means just that: it encompasses everything we do at work, at home, in the community. Performance excellence in its broadest sense is meeting expectations first time, every time, on time–again at work, at home, in the community. So the class has a decidedly “big” flavor. Workplace-specific concepts and theories are applied to students’ private lives and vice versa.

Class exercises, discussions and projects are absolutely relevant to my day job. What applies in class applies to work, applies at home, applies socially. I research one and it applies directly to the other.

I get a lot of good out of reading and contributing to discussions on The Employee Engagement Network, a growing global social network of over 3,000 devotees of engagement (easy to find: Google it).  What I read there, what I contribute there has everything to do with what I do at work, what I share in my college class, who I am at home, my role in the community.

I am what I do, I do who I am. I am connected.

Your Challenge: connect. It’s a good place.

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Written by Craig

February 16, 2011 at 6:12 am

One Response

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  1. […] few months back, I asked What Drives You?  preceded by What’s Your One Thing?  (remember Jack Palance as cowpoke Curly in City […]


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