Why the Little Things Matter

Photo courtesy of iStockphoto/ScottTalent

Not too long ago, a major power outage affected millions of people in Arizona, California and Mexico.  Two nuclear reactors were temporarily shut down.  Traffic backed up for miles all over the area.  Cars collided as frustrated drivers navigated without traffic signals.  Airports were shut down, stranding passengers.  Happening on an incredibly hot, triple-digit-temperature September day, the power outage knocked out much needed air conditioning.  It left people stuck in elevators.  Even the outdoors was affected.  San Diego beaches were closed when almost two million gallons of raw sewage spilled, a result of the water pumps failure at the regional station.  The failure continued to wreak havoc days after it was resolved.

Why did all of this happen?

Finding the Needle in the Office

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What needle?

The expression “moving the needle” first appeared in England during the industrial revolution.  The reference was to gauges on steam engines.  During World War II, it became a more common term in reference to aviation gauges.  In business today it’s synonymous with making progress.

I’ve seen three major types of people in business.  One person can describe the needle, the other can move the needle, and rarely someone can do both.  What do I mean?

My Visit to Lakewood Church

Photo courtesy of Lakewood Church

Joel Osteen is the Senior Pastor of Houston’s Lakewood Church, the largest church in the U.S.  He’s immediately recognizable from his television ministry, bestselling books and stadium appearances.

Pastor Osteen has a consistent message of encouragement and hope.  That inspirational message resonates with the members of his home church and also with the millions who tune in to his weekly broadcast.

New Year’s Resolutions: Beyond the Book Cover

Photo courtesy of iStockphoto/alexsl

Yesterday’s post was a celebration of the best book covers of the year.  The graphic designers who create such works of art deserve recognition for their work.

As the year winds down, I’m struck by these cover images and the metaphor that they offer.  With a quick glance at a book cover, we judge the content and the author.  What the world sees of us is like that jacket, covering the real person inside.  And just like a book cover, we are judged.  Many times, it is before anyone ever took time to read our story.

We work hard to improve our external image.  Whether through fashion, diet, exercise or even plastic surgery, we spend billions on physical improvements.  It’s not just physical appearance either.  We want our presence to be positive online.  There are now various “reputation defender” services to combat unwanted reviews on the Internet.  How we look to the outside world is important to most of us.