Obsessive people doing their thing

A good friend once said that his passion was working with obsessive people.

It is a line that has stuck with me. I absolutely love watching obsessive people doing their thing. Here’s why – the easy problems can be solved with a little bit of effort. But, the gnarly, hard problems require you to be consumed by them. This is along the lines of Albert Einstein saying that he wasn’t the smartest person alive, but that he just stayed with problems longer.

Here are a couple of examples of obsessiveness that I observed last month –

A teammate created a transition folder for an initiative we’d completed with every marketing email numbered chronologically. This folder, then, had one accompanying slide which explained the overall thought process and strategy. One look at both and you have everything you need to do it again, better.

For a workshop we led, we made sure we had asked the attendees for their favorite sweet and salty snacks. Then, a group within the team made sure we had 50 welcome packages with a sweet or salty snack matched to each attendee.
Another created a workbook on leadership where none existed and thoughtfully pieced together some of the best resources available to do so. She then personalized these workbooks with each attendees name to go with the welcome package and had every member of the team sign it.

Work examples aside, we had a friend decide to organize a night out at a a cabin after a hike. Every detail was worked out for us. And, I really mean every detail. All we did was show up and feel incredibly cared for.

These are just a selection of examples from the last 4-5 weeks. I have so many more.

The one true sign of leadership is deep care. And, I think deep care is best demonstrated by small things done with extraordinary love. And, I’ve found it hard to pour extraordinary love to those small things without having a certain amount of obsessiveness.

I don’t think I can ever say this enough – I am really grateful for the obsessive people in my life. I just love hanging out with them, learning from them and watching them do their thing.

4 thoughts on “Obsessive people doing their thing

  1. Here’s an example of seemingly small things brought together that really impressed me …
    Saturday was my son’s graduation from CDL high school in Geneva. 180+ graduating from 3 different programs in 2 languages.That’s a lot of variables. All 180+ graduates entered the auditorium in procession and went in-line to their seat seamlessly, a good start.
    After the speeches, the line of 180+ was called up by name, one by one back onto the stage, in reverse order to how they had filed in, to receive their diploma and in some cases, an award or two. Each graduate was introduced by name, by one of two professors, in of of two languages depending on the program and in which language they had studied, and they all received the correct combination of diploma and award. Again seamless, but think of all the variables and the opportunities to get at least one thing wrong and the knock-on disruption that would have caused. It looked easy and ran quickly but must have taken some organisation and choreography to get everyone in the correct order, in the correct seat and have the correct diplomas and awards also in the correct order. Well-done CDL!

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