Friday, April 26, 2013

Of Irrefutable Laws, Cheese, and Writing Projects

One of my frustrations as an administrator is having to sit through presentations that I could get through much more quickly if you just gave me the material to read.  Our sexual harassment training is like that.  We have to spend 2 hours with the webinar, but it would take me 15 minutes to read.  It's not like the material changes from year to year either.

Yesterday, it was our hurricane preparedness plan.  I count myself lucky this year.  Some years, we've gone over the plan page by page.  Yesterday was a general discussion.

Any time when we don't have to listen to someone read the hurricane plan via PowerPoint presentation, I consider myself lucky.  Some years, we've done that.  Happily, this year we're a bit more short-staffed for all sorts of reasons, and the person who's usually in charge of reading the PowerPoint of the hurricane plan has been moved to a different area.

Recently we had a PowerPoint presentation about John Maxwell's The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership.  We went through them, law by law.

Some of these laws are not surprising:  Surround yourself with good people (I'm paraphrasing, I think).

Maybe it's my problem.  I've been doing leadership training events since my teenage years.  This information doesn't change much from decade to decade.

I thought about how many of these books--leadership books, cookbooks, diet books, how to live your life books--are not necessarily saying anything new.  I wondered if I could create such a new work, a work out of ideas that are already out floating in the world.  I thought about Maxwell's book and the Who Moved My Cheese? book.  What would happen if I combined the two bestselling books?
I’m currently working on a book I’ve titled, Twenty-one Irrefutable Leadership Laws of Moving Cheese. I currently have chapter ideas for melting, creating a cheese plate, and shredding.

Creating a Cheese Plate:  The types of cheese you need to make a capable team (which cheese would be which attribute?  Oh what fun!)

Melting:  How to get the team to work together.

Shredding:  Sometimes you have to take the team apart to get the best opportunity for working well together.

Only 18 more laws to go!

And I’m only partly kidding.

At the dinner we had before the Hobo Poetry event, we talked about my idea.  I think it could be a best seller, but I wondered if I could sustain interest long enough to get it done.  We talked about whether or not we could work on projects that didn't completely move us.  My friend who's teaching said, no, we have to feel passion for the project.  My friend who makes a good chunk of her living by writing said that she could write about anything.

I thought it would be cool to have one project that was the high art form of the concept, and one that was for the masses.  My leadership/cheese idea does not have a high art component.

But the metaphor continues to intrigue me.  Cheese as leadership lessons.

Maybe I should also create some recipes.  Again, I'm only halfway kidding.

1 comment:

Shefali Choksi said...

how about ripening of the cheese? seasoning it? keeping the taste and texture of the red grape while making it? pulling it? we can sit an afternoon down and you'd have 1800 processes and extended metaphors! think of all the cheese-cracker stars you'd be rocketed to on its success!!!!