"Mama, my ballet slipper's untied !- The Pace of Change" - 6-18-97

It was the mid-point of her first dance recital. As she was the first one to lead the group on-stage, she now was the last to exit for a costume change. How does a 4-year old react to such a challenge? And what's that got to do with life in the fast lane? For all of us, the pace of change and expectations continues to accelerate.

What are some of the essentials we need to keep track of? Pride...teamwork... learning new skills...family...fun time... and keepin' on keepin' on! Let me explain. Whether it's our professional team in the workplace or our family team, certain characteristics seem to spell success. This past Thursday night, Earl & I drove to CT for Rachel Marie's debut as a dancer. Grammy (yours truly) & Poppa were to be joined by Mimi & Pepe (the other set of grandparents) and Aunt Stacy (the godmother) as weekend guests at Mommy & Daddy's house.

Friday was a day of getting ready to get ready, as the anticipation and excitement built. It takes a family who pulls together as a team to be successful at and enjoy similar events, and it takes a work force who pulls together as a team to be successful in today's competitive world while finding enjoyment in the midst of it all. Saturday morning found great cooperative teamwork as all family members pulled together to share bathrooms, stagger shower times, and manage to get out the door on time.

We arrived at the site where the recital was going to take place. Flash bulbs were popping and camcorders were rolling as the excited giggles and happy chatter of 4 year-olds could be heard everywhere. Proud parents and grandparents beamed in happy anticipation. The recital began. Only one child got "stage fright" and tearfully departed the lineup for the safety of Mommy's arms. The others lined up and got ready for their big event. Four-month-old Trevor James decided that he was hungry and his verbal announcement of that, combined with strains of "When I Wish Upon A Star" filled the auditorium. Daddy headed to the back of the auditorium with a ready bottle, and a radiant Rachel Marie led the group onto the stage.

The warm-up number and the ensuing ballet number, combined with smiling faces glancing at family members for approval and assurance, left audience members with a feeling of elation. It came time to exit the stage, in orderly rows, to the opening tune to change into tap shoes. Midway across the stage, Rachel Marie looked down (to make sure her toes were pointed correctly, I'm sure!) only to discover one of her ballet slippers was untied. She stopped, looked out at Mommy, and called out, in a calmly "what do I do now, Mommy?" tone, "Mama, my ballet slippers untied!" Mommy, the veteran of many a dance recital in her day, motioned with her hand to just keep going offstage. Rachel took the cue, once more raised her arms in true ballerina style, rose up on her toes, and held her position all the way off the stage! The audience was delighted.

On the way home, I saw a bumper sticker that read, "Life's Short: Row Hard". That's not a bad motto, as long as we remember the importance -- in both our professional and our personal lives -- of Pride, Teamwork, Learning New Skills, Family, Fun Time, and Keepin' On Keepin' On! How are you doing on these counts? In a world that's busier than busy, keeping our priorities straight, both at home and at work, becomes even more important. We replayed the video several times before departing for home again today, and Rachel Marie grinned broadly along with the rest of us as we rewound and played that special scene numerous times.

By the way, I'm convinced it's a sure-fire winner of a future America's Funniest Home Video show. After all, it embodies the six characteristics that this week's memo is all about. What do you think?

MarleneB.Brown,CEO:MarmeL Consulting Firm,POBox 83,ClarkMills,NY 13321 Speaker/Consultant Tel: 315/853-1318 Fax: 315/853-4636 Email: marlenebb7 Topics: Future Change& Technology, Leadership&Teamwork, Sales&Marketing Author: the book "TechnoTouch:Managing Change for 21st Century Leadership"© & "TechnoTouch Marketing Trends"© a bi-monthly newsletter. Visit our Web site at: http://www.technotouch.com/

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