CEO Coaching: Daily Lessons

The lawn care crew came yesterday to do fall cleanup on our yard. We have a few trees that don’t drop leaves until December, so I’m often one of the last in the neighborhood to do this.

I walked down to breakfast and as the sun came up, I thought, “The yard looks great!” Half an hour later my wife came down and saw it differently, saying, “All that mulch we put down is gone!” 

I’m not much of a do-it-yourself guy, but I spent hundreds of dollars and several days picking up mulch and distributing it around the yard last spring. I guess the lawn crew had turbocharged leaf blowers because there’s now little trace of it. 

I like to draw lessons from everyday life, and poor communication on my part is perhaps one. The previous owner of the lawn care company either sold or handed off my agreement to a new entity. I haven’t even talked to them as they seem to show up when I’m busy or out of town. Unstated or poorly communicated expectations always seem to come back to bite you!

Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it.

—Albert Einstein

Poor product design and management is another possible culprit. Mulch tends to blow away, but it was a lot cheaper than rocks or something permanent. However, if I turned what should have been CapEx into OpEx by trying to save money, I’ll fail if I have to redo the project every spring! 

The last lesson of the morning for me was about materiality. Shit happens, and this isn’t a big deal. I’ll move on to something more enjoyable or important. I don’t care to spend time in negative space anymore.

I find it fun to choose a random event in my day and draw deeper meaning from it. If forces me into a state of awareness. Trying to learn something every day is healthy.  (Of course, mulch is just mulch.) 

What lessons have you learned today?