Grey Matter
It's not all black or white
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From ordinary to extraordinary...

Published on 07/20/2015
#Leadership

This story starts with an ordinary letterbox. You know the kind of thing, square, plain, nothing special...A rectangular hole in the wall near the entrance of a house through which letters and bills are delivered.The only difference between this letterbox and others of its kind is that it remains open. There is no key safeguarding its contents. Who would have thought that behind its ordinary façade something magical was taking place?

Little bits of moss, cattail fluff and dead grass started to line the interior of this ordinary letterbox. A warm and safe environment was being built by an unassuming character. I found myself with the responsibility of safeguarding this little miracle and so set about protecting it from the unassuming postman and his duties.

My solution? Clearly communicate the facts in a short, polite letter in a language understood by the reader. Stick the letter on the letterbox and make sure it is noticeable. The letter read: "Bonjour, *Attention*. Oiseau et son nid! Merci de mettre le courrier dans le sac.' Merci. Mr & Mme Brooks."

Voilà, clear and concise but the unassuming postman still needed somewhere to put our mail. My solution? Low-cost, recycled shopping bag tied to the gate handle.

With solutions now implemented, only a small amount of regular caretaking required: check the bag for post, check the weather conditions, check for signs of progress (from a distance). Daily reviews revealed the new postal system to be working well but the letterbox remained unchanged. Perhaps the unassuming character felt threatened and no longer engaged in her daily activities?  With a sense of disappointment, the same questions returned to mind: 'Could we have done more? Would more robust solutions have been better? The answers for which would have to wait until next spring.

While acceptance of the situation took nest in our minds, the ordinary letterbox and postal system remained different from the others on the road and time passed...

 

Then one beautiful spring day, this square, plain, nothing-special letterbox changed into an extraordinary home for 3, healthy and hungry mouths. What an amazing sight! What an inspiring change! What a sense of personal happiness!

These three little creatures made me think og how;

  • Honesty and a safe and warm environment sustain personal growth.
  • Polite and simple communication with the right people matters.
  • Change needs patience – it takes time.
  • Solutions keep the circle of life turning.

Now, let me ask you… “What magical event could be happening behind the façade of your professional letterbox?”

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