Here’s a quick tale of how a brief email led to an interaction with one of my business heroes this week. I think the phrase is “serendipity” or a happy accident that wasn’t planned for.
The email was a one sentence request. A perfectly reasonable everyday request, in fact.
However the sender hadn’t started off with a “Hi” or finished with a “Kind Regards” or even typed their name. And this wasn’t the first time. I know less is sometimes more, but business is all about relationships after all. And a little email courtesy goes a long way. I was a little bit miffed, but replied to the email and wished the sender a Happy New Year.
Over the Christmas holidays I started reading a book called “The Slight Edge” by Jeff Olsen. Other folk go sale shopping on Boxing Day, I bought a personal development book. The summary of the book is “make small changes to your daily habits and routines to create powerful results for your health, wealth and happiness”.
I’m on the second read through and would thoroughly recommend it. One of the “Slight Edge” disciplines is to read 10 pages of a personal development book each day. Only takes a few minutes, but over the course of a year it means you will have read a dozen or more great business books and developed some new ideas. Either that, or spend 10 minutes a day reading the Metro and become an expert on Reality TV.
The “10 pages a day” book I had started reading (or re-reading) was the brilliant “Little Big Things – 163 Ways to Pursue Excellence” by Tom Peters, who is a business hero of mine. He is on my “people to invite to dinner” list along with Morrissey and Bobby Robson. If you’ve never come across Tom then I would urge you to check out some of his books. He has also summarised his life’s work in one page here.
The first thing I picked up after reading the (brief) email was The Little Big Things and went to the section on “gratitude”. I wasn’t feeling particularly appreciated at that moment (even though the email sender meant no harm).
So up pops essay 59 which is entitled “Thank You” which handily summarises what Tom says are the two greatest words in the English language.
And then a couple of hours later….
So, the circle is completed with the very words that I had just read about. It’s nice to be appreciated, Tom.