Last weekend I had an eye opening discussion with my wife. The thing is, we had a mango, a huge mango, and it was delicious and sweet. I had cut it in the morning and shared the pieces into bowels for my wife, her mother and me. and yes, mine was just a little bit bigger . Hmmm, that was so good, directly emptied my bowl.
A few hours later I saw there Is one bowl left. I gave it to? my mother in law, maybe she did not see that the bowl was for her. After all, the color of the pieces already started to more wet. Later that day I found the bowl was covered with plastic foil in the refrigerator.
Next morning me and my wife had breakfast together, with bread rolls, milk, coffee, eggs and bacon. And the last bowl with mango was on the table. I found the pieces where already brown, and glibbery. That made me angry and so I said, ‘you see, why don’t you eat the mango yesterday? now it looks ugly. Who want to eat the mango like that. Why don’t you eat it yesterday when I prepared it for you so nice and fresh. If you don’t eat it, I could have had some more.’
So my wife replied: I liked to have longer something from this great huge mango. I can’t eat so much mango at once. I like to have sweet mango for two days. The mango still tastes delicious. You should also have some.
I tried a piece, and it was awful. Actually it was ok, but compared with the day before, it looked ugly and just feel like yellow pieces of glibber. I wanted to remember the mango as it was the day before. An awesome huge fresh tasteful and sweet mango.
This is when it struck me. The keyword is highlights. What we all really want isn’t mango, ok we want mango, but we don’t want mango every day. The first day, we had a mango the first time after a very long while. Wow, what a highlight. We all want highlights in our life.
You love pizza? What happens when you eat pizza for a hole week? don’t you want to have something else? My mother in law is cooking for us almost every evening. every day, there is some meet, fish some vegetables and a soup. That is so great to have so much choice to eat from. but how is it every day? When I eat every day much variety, I basically eat every day the same.
The keyword is the same: What we really want is highlights.
I am a software developer, I love programming. I love to find tough solutions. And I love working with my team. Every day we have a standup meeting, then we start working on our tasks. It can be pretty quiet for a while the people working focussed. Some hack their fingers almost bleedy from so much typing, others steer without any movement for a while on the screen. Others need to study the tasks or read something about the technology. Everyone is working hard to find a solution.
Then someone get up and ask around for some help. In software development we love to help, we get a short breakout of our routine and make someone happy, and on the way, show off with our skills. That feels good.
And once again, at least for some extend, the reason is highlights. We as humans, we just love it, if there is something unexpectedly better then we thought. we love it, when something happen to us, that breaks our routine in a positive way. That is a highlight.
In leadership we should make sure, that our people are getting from time to time a highlights. From the intern who is working hard on a problem, afraid to ask for help himself, break his routine and offer help. For a colleagues working on a very long going task, ask him for some help, getting the mind off a problem can help to get a new perspective himself. It is just important, that all of us feel good at work and finish the mango at once.