We Find Power Where We Least Expect It

Great ideas can be discovered in many ways.

Here in Dallas, the first of March provided a cool, quiet break between spring storms, so I’d say the month came in like a lamb rather than a lion. As the dullness of February fades and winter begins to lose its grip, I sense a renewed energy in those around me.

I often see March as the real beginning of the year. The bravado of the new year’s promises has receded. We’re finding the groove in day-to-day activities that support our strategic plans. It’s time to get to work—because there is progress to be made!

We can still easily get distracted by pop-up events, and yet, sometimes those surprises end up being just what we need to move forward.

What gets me excited?

  • Lunch with a long-time industry colleague brings a new perspective to my firm’s business model as she questions where her firm might take advantage of a market opening. Brainstorming nurtures a nascent spark that leads to refinement of our process and increases potential for growth.
  • A mentorship session reminds me how important it is to continue to look for ways to add value. Helping someone with a hunger to advance reignites a flame inside of me. Watching the wheels turn in her head means mine start to turn as well. The drive back to the office is filled with thoughts recorded in my phone’s notes, encouraging me to consider how we could implement them as we increase visibility and strengthen relationships.
  • A proposal review highlights how much work there is yet to do, as well as how much must be reworked to be compliant and compelling. But the effort also shows how passionate the local office is about the project. So, how do we harness that passion earlier in the process to avoid this quagmire a week before deadline? Working through the pain reinforces thoughts that help to create a solution.
  • An eager graphic designer peppers a phone call with a series of questions about submitting to the SMPS Marketing Communications Awards program. His proactive approach has me thinking about what inspires people. How do I bottle that enthusiasm?

Take a deep breath of (almost) spring air. As you look out the window at the March snow, the spring slush, or the glimpses of budding color popping through the ground and the dormant tree branches, take heart. There is no dearth of great ideas to be found in a daydream or a break from a work challenge. Sometimes we find power to accomplish our goals where we least expect it.

SMPS President Nancy Usrey, FSMPS, CPSM, is associate vice president of HNTB in Plano, TX. She can be reached at nusrey@HNTB.com.

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