One’s True Value Prop, Dickens Style —Cagle

Bits and Pieces

Silver bells, silver bells…it’s Christmas time in the city.
Ring-a-ling…hear them ring.
Soon it will be, Christmas day!

Holiday music tends to put people in a better state of mind. Did it work for you? I know, it’s hard to make the bad feelings of an entire year go away with a few lines from a Christmas song. We might have to book a Manheim Steamroller concert in order to sing away all the blahs accumulated during 2009.

Take a look at all of the negative percentage changes in sales for the PI 400. Then consider that next year’s list will be even worse, since those figures will include the performances of companies whose fiscal years typically ended 12/31/09. Most of this year’s rankings include performances through 12/31/08, with a few 6/30/09s sprinkled in.

For many of us, it’s hard to disassociate professional shortcomings with our private lives. We let our professions get tangled into our identities. Jack Nicholson’s lead role in the film “About Schmidt” is a not-so-gentle reminder that life goes on without us after we exit the workforce, and that the pursuit of professional success—as a measure of personal worth—is often a hollow pursuit for most people.

Whenever I feel like I’ve come up shy of goals or expectations, I focus on my children. They accept me for who I am, and couldn’t care less if my title was CEO, senior editor or head ditch digger. The people who they become, and not some story I wrote about sheetfed presses in 2001, will be my legacy. Intended or not, that’s my value proposition.

Given the time of season, there’s some dusty Dickens-esque lesson being dispensed here, and you’re a little advanced to be assailed by the “remember what’s important” mantra. But every now and then, it’s beneficial to be reminded that our greater selves cannot be found in a P&L ledger.

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