Monday, August 31, 2009

Something Better Just Around the Corner

When we don't get what we think we want, we're disappointed, frustrated and confused. It seems purely theoretical when our friends say, "when one door closes, another opens" or "something better will come along".

It often takes time to see that "no" or "not now" can be the springboard to other, better opportunities. We often quit exploring the range of options when we are presented with the possibility of something that will be "good enough".

My dear, talented friend was exploring career opportunities after a sabbatical. She networked like a super-star, shared countless job openings that were a great match for others she knew, and researched the universe of companies to discover the best job for herself.

Her best opportunities for her new career came through connections she had and created. When she reached the point with a particular company that she was the top candidate and was assured that internal timing issues and approvals just needed to be completed, she could have stopped looking. She didn't.

She continued to interview and explore possibilities. The first company's delay cost them a fabulous associate. But it yielded a far better job offer for my friend. The answer she thought she wanted would have locked her into a job that was "good enough". Because she didn't let her frustration nor the first company's assurances that a job offer was coming halt her exploration, she truly did find something better just around the corner.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Giving and Receiving

How often do we beat around the bush about what we want?
Volunteer opportunity?

Most people are willing to help those with whom they have a positive connection. Good relationships, excellent track record and great reputation provide the foundation for helping others and ourselves get what we want. Give first - do more than is expected; provide both responsive and unsolicited assistance to others; model the helpful behavior you'd like to see others deliver. Often, unless we voice our wants and needs others don't know what is important to us. Ask - then be open to what you receive.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

"Revelations in the Rear View Mirror"

At our recent Sterling Bank Women’s Business Initiative Luncheon in Houston, our fabulous keynote speaker, Louise Parsley, generated laughter and connectedness that has generated tremendous feedback from attendees. This accomplished author and speaker is witty, with it and wise! She shared marvelous tales from her terrific book, "Revelations in the Rearview Mirror: One Mother’s Hard-won and Hilarious Epiphanies on the Road to the Empty Nest". Her college fascination with Kierkegaard’s philosophy, “Life can only be understood backward, but it must be lived forward” provides a framework for her title. With 26 years of motherhood under her belt, she beautifully shares the humor and love of everyday life and vividly reminds us of the importance of communication.

There’s no way to do justice to her humor in this summary, so instead I’ll share some gems of wisdom from her book:

Somewhere between setting boundaries and finding forgiveness, humor is the glue that holds family together.

Heart creates a good mother.

Enduring the rub of irritation, routine and responsibility creates the pearl of love and acceptance.

Family sees us at our best and our worst... and keeps the faith that the best shall prevail.

Life’s ordinary miracles are in-between big events.

Success is all in the state of mind.

If we don’t let go of one great adventure, we’ll miss the next.

I encourage you to read each delightful chapter to fully appreciate Louise’s unique brand of humor and insight.

Friday, August 28, 2009


We all have different expectations of responsiveness. With the proliferation of technology, we've become prone to estimating and timing the other party's response as soon as we send our message.

My dear, deceased father-in-law often relayed a far different timetable for response. When he began practicing law, deadlines were driven by train schedules. A document sent via train to New York wouldn't be received for days. This volley built in time for deliberation between responses.

The advent of fax communications provided a quick way to exchange information. But because it was transmission of a static document, time was still built in to manually edit documents before the next transmission.

With the broad use of email transmission of word-processed documents and the wide acceptance of email questions and answers, we've gained immediacy of communications, but sometimes at the expense of time for fruitful consideration of alternatives. Because the clock is ticking, we often respond with our first reasonable answer.

We can probably all benefit from the conscious communication of realistic time-frames for response to our important inquiries, orders and requests.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

We Lead From Where We Are

There are multiple leadership options including: situational, leading by example, authoritative/positional and charismatic.

Situational leadership often evolves during a crisis. What is the disaster recovery plan? IT and Operations experts can emerge as situational leaders. What do we do when the economy slows? By asking all customer facing associates "How can we provide new product/service offerings to better serve our customers and achieve competitive advantage?" we gain invaluable insight. This is a great way to identify emerging leaders.

Leading by example is a leadership option available to every person. My daughter incorporates exercise into her daily time budget and thus influences the rest of us to be more consciously and consistently active. When the sales leader schedules 15 appointments per week, you get the message that a combination of breakfast, lunch, dinner and non-meal appointments will fit into every work day.

Authorative/Positional leadership is a leadership option most commonly experienced in the business, government and academic workspace. The boss has the ultimate say. Though this is a reality, every highly effective organization (except military) with which I've been affiliated, uses this as the tie-breaker rather than the mode of operation. It's clear that there are non-negotiables, but when teams adhere to core principals and can compromise, collaborate and deliver solutions without invoking authorative/positional leadership, everyone wins.

Charismatic leaders have a connection that resonates with others, sometimes despite the message. I had a list, but intentionally deleted them, because we all have our own lists of folks who have prompted us to act based upon their passion, energy and "expertise".

Each of us has the opportunity to lead regardless of the position we hold. Only authoritative/positional leadership is determined by the job we hold. We can all be positive situational and charismatic leaders. And, of course, we can all lead by example.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Human Resource Essentials

I had the opportunity to facilitate a Sterling Bank Women’s Business Initiative luncheon in Houston featuring a distinguished panel of human resources experts. Sue Burnett (Owner and President, Burnett Staffing Specialists), Wanda Dalton (Executive Vice President of Human Resources, Sterling Bank), and Cristina Solomon (Labor, Employment and Immigration Attorney, Winstead) each shared her insight into the issues that employers face today, which include recruiting, retention, and legal issues in the workplace. The panel also touched on the impacts of a maturing population that is resulting in a multi-generational office.

The following list is a synopsis of the discussions:

Listen! Ask a candidate open-ended questions and let her talk.
Involve colleagues in interviewing key hires.
Seek referrals from your existing employees and pay referral bonuses.
Do not write on a candidate’s resume during the interview process.
In a legal dispute all employee documentation is considered, not just the official personnel file.
When you make a hiring mistake, don’t compound the mistake by keeping the employee too long. Decide quickly to end the relationship.
Texas Workforce Commission website provides employer resources.
Do not hire only in your own image.
Provide flexible work options.
Turnover that is too low can be perceived as a lack of a career track for motivated candidates.
No generation has all the answers.
The most candid references will not come from the HR department.
Reference checks and background checks are important tools.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

When There Are No Other Words

There are times of devastating loss that leave us speechless. When I was young I assumed that there were words of wisdom, compassion and comfort that adults relayed to one another in times of profound sadness. As I grew older and experienced unthinkable loss, I realized that there are no formulaic words that convey the right expression of empathy and sympathy. The expressions I most appreciated were those from the heart - often a hug, a touch, a memory or the sincere conveyance that the friend had no idea what to say. When there are no right words, it's just important to let the person you care about know that you care.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Don't Wait to Say What You Mean

I've had the most devastating experience of losing my two cherished younger brothers to disease and accident. This brings vividly to mind the saying, "the things that don't kill you make you stronger."

I realize that profound loss makes us more empathetic. But I also am more attuned than many to the fact that "nothing is a given."

Our close, loving family had the unthinkable experience of losing two vibrant, most loved family members in two years. These unexpected deaths sent shock waves through our family, community and each of our individual realities.

Despite our profound and endless loss, our family is living, loving and thriving.

We all consistently say "I love you" as we greet and as we conclude a visit or call.

Please, don't wait to let others know how much they mean to you.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Our Lives are Intertwined

The shock of a young friend's death sends sad ripples through so many lives. Everyone who has known the person focuses on memories of the times their lives have touched. The hole is enormous. In an instant the world changes for all who mourn the loss.

Faith, family,friends and memories are the lifelines available to survivors.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Friendly People Are Everywhere

We often think of small towns as having the friendliest people on earth. And they do have remarkably friendly residents. I had the privilege of growing up in a small town where almost everyone knew everyone else.

But huge cities like Houston have wonderfully friendly folks, too. I've often said that there are only three degrees of separation in Houston.

I was thrilled today when my lovely Mother remarked that she was delighted to see how polite and accommodating everyone coming in and out of my very busy neighborhood post office was. And she had the chance to observe many comings and goings as I waited in a Saturday line to post a birthday greeting for our precious daughter.

I'm so very thankful to encounter gracious people wherever I am.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Interpersonal Skills Seal the Deal

I vividly remember a conversation years ago with a technically talented man in my group with interpersonal skills deficiencies. He couldn't understand why another person had received a promotion rather than him. I asked him who he would promote if he had two people who were equally technically talented, but one had better interpersonal skills. Without hesitating, he said "it wouldn't matter". Unfortunately there are too many people like this who think that fulfilling the technical requirements of a job is the only thing that matters.

People like to work for and with others who are competent and delightful to be around. Honing interpersonal skills can seal the deal.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

What Are You Afraid Of?

Are you afraid of:
Weight Gain
Weight Loss
Monster Customers
Ghost Customers

Once we realize that we are in control, many of our fears disappear.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Little Things are Big

We can make a positive impact when we exercise any of the following actions.

Kind Word
Congratulatory Note
Verbal Acknowledgement
Birthday Greeting
Acknowledgement of a Job Well Done
Holding a Door
Stopping an Elevator
Change an Airplane Seat to Accommodate a Large Passenger
Phone Call
Voice Mail
Personal Recommendation
Appreciative Gesture
Accommodation for Tardiness
Gift for No Occassion
Bug spray
Compassionate Interaction
Flattering Story
Shared Photograph
Recommendation of Service Provider
Letting You Change Lanes
Empathetic Ear
Dutch treat lunch turns into a hosted event
Unexpected recommendation on LinkedIn
Positive feedback on a blog entry
Making the bed when it’s not your turn
Bringing the paper and breakfast upstairs

I want to always remember that it doesn't take much to make someone's day. Thanks to each of you who have made my day(s)!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Unmet Expectations

I'm a big believer that deadlines motivate behavior. We are all busy and have great intentions of completing those "nice to do things" on our list. But days turn into weeks and new, time sensitive items get added to our already full days so those "do it sometime" items still stick around undone.

That's what often happens, too, when we ask for a service provider to perform a job without specifically voicing a requirement that the task be completed by a certain date. We think that since we are being nice and accommodating, they will certainly handle our request in a most timely manner. After all, we're flexibly sensitive to their workload. And we're not being demanding, unreasonable jerks, so surely they will want to assist us. Yes, they do want to assist us. But since we are so flexible and all those other demanding customers have been promised specific due dates that must be met, our request lingers longer than we think necessary on the "do it when it's convenient" list.

I've discovered that I can be nice and accommodating but get my needs met by politely negotiating a mutually acceptable due date as the request is made. If my desire to have the project completed in a week isn't possible, I have two options. I can accept the due date that provider is able to fulfill or I can find an alternate provider.

Unvoiced expectations are those that are least likely to be met.

Monday, August 17, 2009

One More

Which one is meaningful to you?

One more:

Right Answer
Life Saved
Passion Ignited
Friend Made
Game Won
Skill Improved
Meal Created
Meal Enjoyed
Outcome Embraced
Lap Completed
Experiment Ended
Lesson Learned
Message Received
Life Touched
Memory Made
Picture Taken
Masterpiece Created
Colleague Inspired
Neighbor Helped
Child Loved
Stranger Encouraged
Associate Helped
Treatment Administered
Treatment Completed
Story Told
Fish Caught
Book Written
Book Read
Sale Made
Presentation Delivered
Call Made
Flower Planted
Bloom Emerged
Bouquet Delivered
Vitamin Ingested
Muscle Strengthened
Lesson Learned
Compliment Created
Self Shared

Let' seize each additional meaningful opportunity!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

It's Not About Me

My perspective about driving is evolving. So often when I'm behind the wheel I'm rushing to get to work, an appointment, a meal, a plane, a game, an event or home. Each red light, traffic snarl, aggressive driver, slow-poke driver, distracted driver, lane-cutter and obstacle is magnified to increase my angst. I've found myself looking at the clock multiple times at a red light. Pedestrians in the crosswalk when I'm trying to turn seem to move like molasses.

I realize that every other driver and pedestrian is dealing with their own need to get to their next engagement. They are doing the best that they can to manage their journey. Their actions are designed to control their own trip and they are oblivious to me unless my momentary distraction causes them angst.

When I use this captive solitary time to think, plan, pray or listen to music or a book summary my attitude improves and my stress decreases.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Let There Be Light!

I think I finally understand how frogs are boiled in pots of water as the temperature gradually rises. If the temperature changed quickly a frog would jump to safety. However, when the temperature is raised gradually, a frog adapts to the new situation and stays, eventually dying when the temperature gets to an uninhabitable level.

My experience was anything but life-threatening. I was displaced by Hurricane Ike to a new location. Initially thinking it was temporary, I had very simple expectations. As soon as I had a working phone and computer, I was happy. This was my equivalent of the frog's okay temperature. I was fine! I had adjusted to my new environment. As time passed and I hosted numerous visitors to my new office the common remark was "it's so dark in here". Finally, I looked up and around. As I compared my overhead lighting to all the other lighting in the building I realized that I had defective, failing lighting.

As soon as Carlos replaced my defective lighting, I had a normal, bright environment. My plants said "Yippee" and quickly grew several inches. Let my experience be a reminder to quickly respond to constructive feedback. Had I looked up and around sooner, I would have immediately improved my situation.

Friday, August 14, 2009

WOW Your Customers!

At our recent Sterling Bank Women’s Business Initiative Luncheon in San Antonio, Rebecca Marek energetically provided colorful, memorable examples of extraordinary ways that a car dealership, credit card company, animal hospital, home renovation company, shoe store and hotel WOWed their customers. And she engaged the audience in sharing their own examples of excellent customer service which included kudos for a hair stylist, dentist, car repair business and pest control service. Imagine our delight when one of our customers spontaneously offered Sterling Bank as an example of terrific customer service!

She asked us to consider which would be the best goal for an ice cream shop: a) the world’s best ice cream, b) the best location in town or c) a steady stream of loyal customers. By reminding us that without customers, there is no reason to be in business, she set the stage for differentiating between satisfied and loyal customers. Bain and Company’s research reveals that 60-80% of customers who describe themselves as satisfied do not go back to the company, clearly illuminating the need to strive for loyalty v. satisfaction.

Rebecca challenged us to walk in the customer’s shoes. We often become desensitized to our environment, so we need to step through every interaction, as seen through the eyes of the customer. Walk into your office, as if it’s the first time you’ve visited to see and experience the things your customer encounters.

Though WOW may result from a single incident, quite often it is a sequence of consistently good service that will inspire loyalty and amazement. Ted Levitt of Harvard Business School summarized the goal very well, “The purpose of every business is to get and keep customers.” Thank you, Rebecca, for providing marvelous insight to help us all create more WOW moments to earn our customers’ loyalty.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Leadership Challenge

One of my friends who is pursuing a master's degree asked for my answers to two questions:

1. What prevents leaders from doing the right things?

2. What can be done to improve the system?

My response to her follows:

I believe there are a number of factors which prevent leaders from doing the right things including lack of skill, integrity issues, competing priorities, focusing on efficiency at the expense of effectiveness, underdeveloped communications skills, making decisions in a silo, taking a short-term perspective, fear of change, not exercising the golden rule, acting without sufficient information and getting caught in the business of doing without taking time to plan.

Improvements can occur when:

An assessment of skill for the new position is accurately evaluated. Organizations have a tendency to promote the best sales or technical person without acknowledging that the subject matter expertise is only one component of managing a group.

High integrity is a non-negotiable factor in choosing leaders at all levels.

Important v. urgent matters are balanced by developing a clear mission statement.

There is a focus on outcomes rather than mere deliverables.

Excellent written, verbal and listening skills are developed.

An environment is present that values collaboration.

Specific plans are developed which include timelines, pros and cons, and training to minimize the fear of change.

Continual improvement is embraced.

Others are treated as you’d like to be treated.

Planning is expected.

Very bright people are hired from whom you can learn.

Let's all rise to the leadership challenge!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Making Amends

I had a most interesting meeting with one of the non-profits that Sterling Bank supports. Though we are a major funder, they took us for granted. Guess the recession provided a wake-up call to the organization that expected funders are not always available! Unsolicited, the development officer fell on his sword and asked what recognition would be appropriate. I proposed a very modest but distinct format for our recognition. He proposed far more than I requested. Only when I determined that recognizing Sterling Bank in the manner which he proposed did not limit the organization's supplemental sponsorship opportunities, did I enthusiastically agree.

Screwing up is not the end unless you quit! Partner with those who have your best interest at heart and create win-win opportunities.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Help Save a Life

There is no substitute for human blood. And each donation can save as many as 3 lives. That's why I've chosen to donate every 8 weeks. It's quick (you're in and out in an hour or less) and easy (you can make appointments online at

Got to get dressed! My appointment's at 9:15.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Energized or Drained by the Company You Keep?

We all have friends, associates or family members who we love to visit. They make us feel special.

When I'm around him or her I:

am joyous
feel good
am motivated
feel pampered
get great ideas
feel welcome
give help
receive help
am invigorated
can't believe how quickly the visit ends
feel energized

And, we all know those individuals we dread being around.

When I'm around him or her, I:
am irritable
can barely insert a word
am stressed
wait for the visit to end
wish I was elsewhere
am bored
see a know-it-all
am impatient
feel unwelcome
am tense
feel drained

Are you Uplifting Ursula or Bummer Bill?

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Household Celebrity - Fabulous Customer Service!

I'm always trying to find great speakers and engaging topics for our quarterly Sterling Bank Women's Business Initiative Luncheons. I generally ask community leaders who are most gracious to appear without compensation. Rarely, I reach out to paid speakers. In trying to find options for San Antonio, I remembered that Heloise lives there. I didn't want to regret failing to explore the possibility. So, I followed the instructions on her website and crafted a fax on our letterhead describing our program and kindly requesting that someone provide her fee schedule. I fully expected a call or email from one of her assistants. Imagine my surprise when I answered a call and the caller said, "This is Heloise." This was a special celebrity moment and resulted in a fabulous, memorable dialogue. She is gracious, communicative and engaged!

We all have numerous ways to present and respond. How often are we exceeding expectations and personally engaging our targets?

Friday, August 7, 2009

Customer Dis-Service

I received a message from a friendly UPS associate telling me that I could come to the Stafford, TX site at 6:30 to pick up my package. If it hadn't been time-sensitive (Edgar's birthday present) I would have waited for them to deliver on Monday.

I'm the eternal optimist, but I got my first clue that things were not good when I saw the haphazard line and spotted a note posted on the wall that read, "your expected wait may be from 5 minutes to 1 hour". My first thought was, "impossible". How long could it take to retrieve a package?

As I waited to be helped I listened to a man who had driven 70 miles in Friday evening traffic to claim his package. He left empty handed after a very long wait.

When it was finally my turn, I was told that my driver would not be back until 7:30. Frustrated and disappointed, I thought, "oh well I'll grab the package and still be home in time for a family dinner at 8:00".

The facility was understaffed. I'm not making a judgement call - I'm repeating what they told the many waiting customers.

I finally left with present in hand at 8:15 - the last customer waiting, as the center closed for the weekend.

What Happens When Things Explode?

What do you do when valued providers don't meet their commitments?

I arrived a few minutes after the expected pick-up time at my favorite and often used "big kid's happy meal provider". Imagine my surprise when this ever ready provider had experienced an ordering glitch. How it was handled was most admirable! Though I was already on the way, I now know that I received a message as soon as the problem was discovered. (Note to self: Give every time-sensitive contact a cellphone #). When I arrived, I was immediately greeted with the message "as soon as we discovered the problem we tried to reach you" (yes they did!)and they had all hands on deck to fix it. They gave me two bags of yummy, homemade brownies to diffuse the situation.

The rest of the story...

Despite the unfortunate delay, the honored group for whom the meals were intended was feted "on-time".
Some of the brownies were used to make an afternoon "non-food" recognition celebration more special.
The remainder of the brownies provided many of my hard-working associates an unexpected afternoon "sweet treat".

This is a vivid reminder that when we have a valued relationship, we can weather unexpected storms.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Embracing Generational Differences

Our recent Sterling Bank Women's Business Initiative Luncheon in Dallas featured the remarkable motivational speaker, author and Gen Y expert, Nancy Barry. Nancy’s high energy, dynamite presentation about generational differences made us think, question, laugh, understand and converse. Each fortunate attendee left with immediately actionable tips for improving our inter-generational professional and personal relationships. And a large number of guests left with copies of her terrific book, When Reality Hits: What Employers Want Recent College Graduates to Know.

Nancy encouraged us to focus on talent and what we have in common in order to capture the depth of experiences and perspectives that each generation has to offer. Open communication, mutual respect and flexibility provide the keys for inter-generational harmony.

Nancy appropriately refers to Gen Y (1980 – 2000) as Generation WHY. They want to know WHY something has to be done a certain way. Hard-working and motivated, they value life-work balance which is quite different from work-life balance. They are the most rewarded, recognized and praised generation.

Gen X (1965-1979) grew up as independent, latch key children. They want you to tell them WHAT needs to be done and WHEN you need it, but don’t tell them WHERE or HOW to do it. They work to live.

Boomers (1946-1964) are willing to do WHATEVER it takes to succeed – which includes working nights and weekends – because they LIVE to WORK.

The only recognition Traditionalists (1925- 1945) need is the personal satisfaction that comes from a job well done.

Nancy may be reached at

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

That's Entertaining!

We've reached a wonderful new milestone in our family dynamics. For 20 years, we, as parents, have planned and executed fun, meaningful, interesting, educational and diverse family outings. We've woven a rich tapestry of food, travel, culture and entertainment to create a lifetime of spectacular memories. Tonight, we were the beneficiaries of our precious daughter planning a unique evening taking advantage of one of Houston's special free arts offerings. Since Miller Outdoor Theatre's performance didn't begin until 8:30, the temperature was most pleasant. Embracing live outdoor theatre, a yummy picnic dinner, terrific people watching and another memorable family evening was a real treat. Passing the planning torch was priceless. Way to go angel!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Just Start Talking

Earlier this year, I had a conflict that precluded me from delivering brief remarks at a charity luncheon. It's an annual event that I enjoy and I always welcome the chance to congratulate the honorees. I assumed that any of my colleagues attending would be equally excited about the opportunity. Not so! Fear of public speaking is widespread. I was shocked when the first colleague whom I asked refused, saying that he doesn't speak publicly. Another colleague reluctantly agreed when I promised that the remarks were very short and that I'd share what I had intended to say. After the event, he called to thank me. He'd enjoyed the opportunity and had overcome his initial fear of public speaking.

Everyone has expertise, unique experiences or fascinating stories to share. When you are prepared, sharing these in a public setting provides the opportunity to positively differentiate yourself.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Left-Handed in a Right-Handed World

My assumption has long been that only left-handers notice handedness. Right-handers naturally assume that everyone's right-handed. This makes perfect sense - 90-93% of the population is right-handed.

I recently had a unique experience at a meeting of 30 or so members of an advisory group. All attendees randomly selected seats. As we began eating, I noticed that there were four left-handers seated in a row. What an unexpected coincidence!

What difference does handedness make? We see the world differently.

We often have to reverse the way a right-hander shows us to do something. Though I learned to tie my shoes when I was 3, I didn't learn to tie a pretty bow until I was in college and dissected the way a right-handed friend went through the steps.

Most tools are designed for a right-handed user. We must adapt our way of using these tools or find those especially designed for left-handers. This is one more reason that we left-handers are quite creative. We intuitively think of alternative ways to do things.

We tend to seek the seats in a dining situation that will allow us to have our left hand at the left end of the table, so we don't bump elbows with our right-handed seat mates. Yes, we are most considerate!

Our right-handed teachers have to stop and think through a process when they are teaching us. I know that I always learn most from teaching another. Our right-handed teachers learn from analyzing the different way that left-handers do things.

Different ways of seeing the world are always beneficial. What inherent trait allows you to observe the world differently?

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Pen This!

My AHA moment for writing instruments was delivered vividly and graciously in two different episodes. Everything is connected!

My terrific, creative and accommodating assistant shared the news that the pens that I had always enjoyed using were no longer on the approved list and provided me pens that were. And that same day, without knowledge of the change in standard issue pens, my best friend gave me a lovely pen.

I'm a big believer in flexibility, but also think that things you use daily should be of a quality that pleases you. I have several nice pens that I keep in my desk at home. Why wasn't I using one of those every day? I realized that this was inconsistent with my attitude about frequently using nice things. If I can keep up with an inexpensive pen until it runs out of ink, surely I will be even more conscious of keeping track of nice pens.

I've always enjoyed frequently using our silver, crystal, china and linens. After my first week of consistent use, nice pens are now added to the list.