It’s NOT Impossible!

Don’t let the title of this post fool you. I’m not going to tell you that you should aim high and that if you can dream it, you can do it. Naturally, I believe that, but this piece has two solid feet on the ground and stems from a situation I had at work recently.

Long story short, I needed note cards for an important dinner. And these weren’t just any note cards. I needed them to be free-standing with a very specific look. And this wasn’t just any dinner. This was for 175 VPs in my firm who expect high quality.  

Shouldn’t have been a big deal.

Unfortunately, by the time the designer told me all of the ways it COULDN’T be done and why, I was pretty discouraged. In his opinion…

…it was too complex.

…the size was wrong for the job.

…the local printer wasn’t good enough.

…it was a ridiculous idea I never should have recommended in the first place.

Okay, so I made up the last one, but – based on the other feedback – he might as well have said it!

Not that it mattered.

I had committed to note cards, so it was my responsibility to deliver note cards.

After I sent the file to the printer and resigned myself to an afternoon of gluing the cards together (the only way it would ‘work’ I was told) – lo and behold – the phone rang. It was the printer calling to say they can handle the project turnkey.

In other words…

…I didn’t have to glue.

…the size was fine.

…I’m not crazy.

And when they arrived, they were perfect.

But this isn’t a post about note cards. It’s about trusting your gut and planning ahead. In other words, just because someone else says it’s impossible, doesn’t mean it is. Second, if I would have just called the printer in the first place and said, “Here’s my idea. What can you do?” I could have saved myself a lot of unnecessary stress on the back end.

THAT’S the point.

As the loyal readers of this blog know, we’ve just wrapped a series where my coauthor Skip Lineberg and I challenged each of you to become rock stars at work. Many of the posts were on high-level career strategy so, in our next series, we’re getting “Back to the Basics.” Like the post above, we’re going to show you – specifically – how to correct, maneuver around, or avoid sticky situations at work. This isn’t the view of your office at 30,000-feet. This series will dive in to the ‘little’ things because – as we we’ve said before – little things can be very big indeed.

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