Thursday, November 24, 2005

Thanksgiving and thanksgetting

So, I was thinking ... what am I thankful for ...? Of course the low hanging fruit ... I’m thankful for my family and friends ... I’m thankful for my health ... I’m thankful for music and art and literature ... I am an absolutely fortunate person, and I know it ...

But then I remembered – while this is a completely self indulgent – it’s about libraries and communities and information ...

Serendipitously, I was read an article this morning in Business 2.0 that described the “Golden Rules” of 30 business leaders. I won’t tell you them all (but it was a good, quick read – you should do it!), but I’ll give my top three ...

Number 3 ... Carlos M. Gutierrez (US Secretary of Commerce):
“Believe in something bigger than yourself.”

Number 2 ... George Steinbrenner (owner of the New York Yankees)
“Surround yourself with people smarter than you.”

Number 1 ... Steve Balmer (CEO of Microsoft):
“Make hiring a top priority.”

Okay, so it’s time I come to the point ... what am I thankful for ... ?

I sat in on an interview on Friday ... a perspective employee for one of our Web Content Team positions ... the person was fantastic ... she was open, smart, funny, confident, calmly comfortable, she understood the questions we were asking and why we were asking them ... a nice breath of fresh air ... so many times people when they interview tell you that the reason they want the job (it doesn’t even matter what job!) is because they love books and love to read.

This candidate may have loved books and reading, but the reason she was interested in working with us, was because she understood the need for libraries to be involved in the creation and presentation of information and was passionate about her role in serving that need. She reminded me of what I’m thankful for ...

This year ... I’m thankful that I have the opportunity to work with people who believe in something bigger than themselves and who are smarter than me (and I mean exponentially!). I’m also thankful that I understand that we don’t do great things for real people with a staff versed in mediocrity. We look for and hire the best ... and I love that! I love knowing that when I’m sitting across from one of my team and we’re talking about the work we do, the work we want to do, or just dreaming up new ways to interact and engage our patrons and each other ... I love knowing that they totally get it ... I love seeing that passion and I love that I’m a part of that excitement. It's really more like thanksgetting ...

So, anyway ... that’s what I’m thankful for ...

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