Plant before your Harvest.

Our VP of Core Operations, Chris Waldron, sent an email out to the team last week where he quoted the legendary comedian, Steve Martin. I think it chronicles why one of our company core values is Perseverence. On rare occassions, the race is won by the person with first mover advantage. But more likely, it goes to those that keep running.

“I did stand-up comedy for eighteen years.  Ten of those years were spent learning, four years were spent refining, and four were spent in wild success.” 

Steve Martin in Sweden promoting Image via Wikipedia

Chris' interpretaion:

"If you do the math, that was 14 years before he saw any success.  That is a long time to remain focused on one goal.  The ability to not become distracted or work on unrelated/unimportant projects is impressive. We are wrapping up a chapter in each of our lives.  You only have one September 2010.  A part of your life story includes your time at TakeLessons and your impact on the company.  I hope it was a good one for you.  My hope is that you stretched yourself as a person, professionally and personally this month.
TakeLessons is also finishing its Q3-2010 chapter and each of you plays an integral part in the monthly metrics.  We have a chance for greatness.  Without your input, the story is not complete.  Finish this month and quarter strong.  Remind yourself that good enough isn’t good enough around here.
The ability to hit our goals would not have happened if it were not for each department doing their part and hitting their target each week, month, quarter and year.  I know it is tough some times to see how your words, actions and work really make any difference.  But it does.  Challenge yourself this week to work on the right things, build things you are proud of and to finish strong.  We are close to hitting our numbers but every ounce of effort will be the difference."

My interpretaion: There is a simple rule of life that I've never found a way around – and that is you must plant seeds and work the field before you're able to harvest. It takes a long time to "build stuff you're proud of", but I am learning that the ride is actually more fun than the destination. It's also really cool to see my fellow team members encouraging the rest of the team. This is a sign of a culture that has the ability to allow leaders to grow.

So, the takeaway? Get the short-term quick-hit out of your mind and prepare to keep running.

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