Hallway of dark doors, one opened to lightBy Shawn Conrad, CAE

Here in the D.C. metro area, we’ve had many coaches who would be considered legendary: men and woman who enjoyed tremendous and sustained success through their careers. I’m often reminded of one who accumulated an unprecedented 20 state championships. Her string of success began when she opened a door to what she thought was the custodial room but was actually a storeroom filled with old sports equipment that had been out of sight, certainly out of mind, and not put to use in years. When she walked into this storage closet, an opportunity–field hockey sticks–literally fell onto her. The coach dusted off the equipment and parlayed it into an opportunity to add an additional out-of-the-classroom school activity to the schedule.

I’m not suggesting that you go digging through your storerooms or repurpose old, out-of date equipment. When I think about this coach, I think about who around us needs to be given new opportunities, offered the chance to take on additional responsibilities, be elevated in their position, and earn more for their efforts.

Former Major League Baseball Commissioner Bart Giamatti was notorious for taking 30 minutes a day to close his door, clear his mind, and think. Taking time to clear one’s mind is important, but think what we could accomplish if we spent more time opening those proverbial doors for others in our organizations, and what championships might be in our future because we did.

Shawn Conrad, CAE, is IPMI’s CEO.