To close his excellent keynote at the AME Back to Basics Lean Summit this week, Marc Braun shared an inspiring Maya Angelou quote about courage. I’d like to begin this message with another Angelou quote: “As long as you’re breathing, it’s never too late to do some good.”
I mention this quote for two reasons. First, it is easy to feel like we missed our chance at something. This can lead to stagnation and self-doubt, and when those set in, it can be difficult to find the motivation and confidence to start something new. But to start a journey of a thousand miles, as the Chinese proverb states, we must begin with a single step. And so, we must challenge ourselves to move forward, and we must support others so they may do the same.
When we feel like we’re “stuck,” making a list of goals is a good place to start. What outcome are you trying to attain? You are likely familiar with the idea of SMART goals, the idea that goals should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. When you set a SMART goal, it doesn’t say it needs to start by a specific time, it says it needs to end by a specific time. So identify a goal, analyze the need that this goal fulfills, and work backwards from that goal to create a roadmap for how to achieve it. It’s easier to start a journey when you know where you’re going and have a plan for how to get there. This week think about what you can do to make yourself better, your team more efficient, and your organization better. Create a plan and start now. It’s not too late.
The second reason that I mention the Maya Angelou quote is so I can remind you that even if you missed day one of the AME Back to Basics Lean Summit, you can still experience three more days of programming. To help you balance your work responsibilities and personal development, we’ve split the virtual summit up to run a few hours each Wednesday for the rest of this month. Members attend for free, so there’s no reason not to sign up. And if you’re not a member, join AME now to gain access to the remainder of this summit plus two additional free virtual summits this year, a discounted registration price for the AME Dallas 2022 conference, and other membership benefits. Best of all, the Back to Basics Lean Summit team — led by Diem Lewis and Cheryl Jekiel — have created an incredible program that will benefit you even if you missed the summit’s first day.
As Maya Angelou said, it’s never too late to do some good – for yourself, for your organization, and for your community.
As always, please stay safe and keep looking out for one another.
P.S. The AME Dallas 2022 early bird discount ends on March 31! Register by 3/31 to save 30% on the 38th annual AME International Conference and experience keynotes, presentations, tours, networking and workshops at the world’s largest lean conference!