How to Uncover the Extraordinary Opportunities Raising the Barr Weekly Memo: Issue 394

My five year old granddaughter, Hadar, loves books. During the pandemic, with extra time at home, she’s learned many new things including how to read, how to ride a two wheeled bike and how to make the stickiest slime.

Though she is a starting reader now, she still loves being read to before bed and I recently overheard Laurel read, via FaceTime, Hey, Little Ant, by Hannah and Phillip Hoose one night. It’s a tale about a boy who finds an ant and they begin conversing with one another. Of course, to an ant, this boy looks like a giant and he begs him not to squish him under the heel of his shoe.

They each plead their case; the boy says squishing little tiny ants is a game he plays with his friends and the ant counters that he’s important to his ant family; he builds nests and feeds his family with the picnic crumbs that the boy leaves behind. The story concludes with no clear ending and the reader is left to decide the ant’s fate.

My sweet Hadar insisted that the tiny little ant’s life was just as important as the boy’s fun of squishing tiny, meaningless bugs.

I realized, when hearing this toddler story time, that it’s possible that we often mostly look at the big things or the big picture, rather than all the smaller parts that, when added together, make up the much stronger and beneficial whole.

Large, even obvious, challenging business issues often have smaller underlying challenges that need to be heard, discussed, analyzed and resolved when formulating a solution. Should we look at the financial rewards as the only indicator of our success or can seeing our clients blossom and succeed beyond our expectations bring even greater satisfaction or reward?

Sometimes the simplest or smallest things are overlooked. It’s up to us to wear our magnifying glasses to see and assess the possibilities in order not to squish and snuff out the extraordinary opportunities that may be harder to see.

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