I am in awe of my yard tools. (Contrary to popular belief, I do not go so far as to sleep in my jacket and tie.) The awe: it’s something about the fact that we, as a species, continue to look at our tasks—such as yard work—and, not only imagine how they could be easier, but actually make the equipment with which to experience this ease.
This past weekend, what caught my eye was the spray nozzle on my hose.
Without that spray nozzle, you turn the water on and a soft, guideless stream of water flows out of the hose…and pretty much follows gravity, to the ground.
The spray nozzle, however, takes that flow of water and gives it a completely new trajectory—actually about eight different varieties, in my case. It takes something that is basically schlock and transforms it into the perfect form—meeting the spray needs of the lawn, tree, flower bed, vegetable garden, child running by, dirty car exterior…you name it. We’ve got what I call the laser stream, the delicate mist, the rapid fire staccato…
My irises, for instance, require a very light spray—anything stronger than the second notch on my nozzle will wipe them out. The brilliance that is my spray nozzle changes the flow of water to meet the needs of the wateree.
At many points during the process of planning and executing a corporate meeting or sales training, schlock will come your way. And if you send the schlock straight on through, well then, it just lands schlockily on someone else’s desk, ears or email.
Here’s another option: be the spray nozzle. Turn the schlock into what the receiver needs to hear and how they need to hear it in order to get the task done, in order to do the work in the best way possible. As demands (from other meeting stakeholders, from your boss, from the meeting venue, from clients, from whoever) come in—you have the power to put them in the most productive form and then send them out to your team.
You are the buffer, the transformer, the translator. Be the spray nozzle…and spray thee well…and then watch things grow. Up.