I love this simple premise of our latest Page to Practice book, Ordinary Greatness, by Pamela Bilbrey and Brian Jones: “Ordinary greatness” is everywhere — it’s just our job to uncover it. The authors use the example of violinist Joshua Bell who performed for morning commuters in a Washington, DC Metro station as part of a study by a Washington Post reporter. Because of the ordinary surroundings of the impromptu concert, and the fact that people were rushing past preoccupied with their morning routines, this renowned violinist went virtually unnoticed by passersby.
The authors’ point is that this is exactly what happens in our organizations — we get so busy with everyday stuff that we forget that greatness is all around us. We just need to stop and look for it. There are many times when I’ve passed a musician on a street corner or in the subway and thought, “Wow, he’s good!” But I rarely stop and appreciate what I’m listening to. The same applies at the workplace. How often do we stop and look around and appreciate the many talents and skills our employees’ bring with them to work? Uncovering the hidden greatness that is right in front of you may be one of the easiest ways to improve your organization.