Within the last two weeks, on three different occasions, I have been completely foiled by one comma, one apostrophe, and the letter E. Attention to detail is one of my specialties; it’s my super power. Those of us with this special ability can tell you how much paper is left in the printer without looking. Though it may not pay off like “uncanny innovation” or “inspirational leadership,” the details are important.
I used to travel for business every week, so I was a bit surprised when I made a “rookie mistake” while parking my car at the airport last week. As I boarded the shuttle, I completely forgot to make a note of my shuttle stop. According to www.FlyDenver.com, Denver International Airport has more than 17,500 parking spaces! Needless to say, my shuttle stop was an important detail.
“No problem,” I thought, “once at the airport, I’ll ask the guy who boarded with me.” With a beautiful accent, he said, “XX.” I made mental note and flew to Arizona. Upon my return, however, I discovered the last shuttle stop is UU– I needed more letters or at least one more stop! By the time I figured he said, “SS,” I was at stop JJ. I panicked and jumped off the shuttle hoping something would look familiar. After speed-walking like a maniac (resulting in a broken souvenir of my sisters), I found the car at stop X. Oh! “X, X” not “XX”. What a difference a comma makes!
Here’s what I learned the hard way:
- Get your own details when you can (especially when you have a lot to lose, like a car).
- Best Practices (like noting your shuttle stop) exist for a reason, use them.
- Panicking makes things worse (and sometimes things get broken)!
Even though, I walked straight to the car, relying on the other details I remembered, like the car was facing west, I was six cars in, and two rows east of the shuttle stop, my ears stung from the blistering wind and my body was flooded with adrenaline. Moral of the story? Slow down, think about what you need to be thinking about, and then do what you are supposed to do.
(Thanks to my mom who lovingly replaced the broken souvenir.)
Tune in next week for the Tale of the Missing Apostrophe.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Michelle Sugerman (PMP, PCC) is a speaker, author, and leadership coach with Leading Synergies. She founded Synergy Groups, virtual masterminds connecting Christians in leadership around the globe for the purpose of Community, Accountability, and Transformation. She also partners with high-performers and heirs-apparent especially in the STEM industries. Michelle’s formal background in technology, franchise, and project management gives her an edge on implementing best practices and scaling towards sustainable success. Michelle lives in Colorado where she hikes fourteeners and enjoys gourmet meals with her loving husband of 22 years.