With the fall semester quickly approaching, a time-honored tradition begins for many college freshman: sorority rush. I participated in rush way back when and found it to be a wonderful experience. Getting ready for rush was something else…
My own daughter chose not to go the sorority route, so I didn’t have to spend any time getting recommendations or “recs” for each of the sororities on campus. Essentially, these recs position your candidate to stand out during the interview process, so having an “endorsement” is very helpful. While this may sound a bit extreme, it is actually an excellent exercise in networking and interviewing.
My niece and namesake, Allison Anne, is participating in rush and her mother, my sister, has been busy recruiting recs on Allison’s behalf. She has also been busy writing recs for the children of her friends going through the process. Elizabeth opted to write the other girls’ recs first, saving her daughter’s for the last. Apparently, Allison Anne was quite offended by this, which sparks my question today: Is your first endeavor always your best effort?
Years ago, I attended a conference designed to stimulate your creative juices and help you move through blocks and barriers. A particular exercise stood out. The group of 300 was divided into sub groups of 6-10 people. We were given five minutes to design the world’s best bathtub. Our group came up with aromatherapy, candles, heated linings and a waterfall.
After the initial five minutes, we were instructed to improve our first design – we were stumped. We just put our “best” ideas out there – or so we thought! This time, we stretched ourselves and redesigned the waterfall to be a wall of glass overlooking a tropical garden with said waterfall, plus added an automatic wine dispenser. Now we were sure we had the best tub ever!
Not so, according to the conference instructor. One more time, we were told to go back to the drawing board and improve our design. We sat looking at each other, searching our brains for ideas. Finally, one woman smiled and said, “I have it! Let’s add Brad Pitt with a wash cloth…” Definitely an improvement!
And that’s the point my sister understands – sometimes our first effort is not our best. Sometimes it pays to work on our more important goals after we’ve had a warm-up. In this crazy-busy world, that may feel impossible –try remembering Brad Pitt! Next time stop and ask yourself the question: “Is this effort okay to be first, or does in need to be my best?”