The stars of the TV show—American Pickers—are Mike and Frank. Their vehicle is a white van labeled Antique Archaeology; their arena is the back roads of America; their passion is Americana artifacts and collectibles—things that are buried under piles of stuff, waiting to be discovered and put on display in one of their stores. They crawl around in attics, old barns, junkyards, and weed-and-snake-infested fields—looking for…well…the kinds of things you find in attics, old barns, junkyards, and weed-and-snake-infested fields. (Actually, they aren’t looking for snakes.) For example, a battery-powered, guitar-playing, mechanical monkey in a country-western outfit was a “big find” on one show. One of their heroes is Hobo Jack, located in Litchfield, Illinois. He has acres of junk waiting to be discovered, but is not an easy mark; he drives a hard bargain.
[BTW…Mike is also great a picking a place to live as he now lives in my hometown of Franklin, TN.]
Wondering what this has to do with leadership?
Most every organization, large or small, has one or more people waiting to be discovered. They, for reasons now forgotten, are buried on a hallway the leader rarely visits, hidden in the last of a row of 20 cubicles, sitting near the back of a large-church worship center, or working in a field office that is on the other side of town. They are a bit dirty and dusty; maybe dinged up some. But they could be worth a lot if discovered and encouraged or trained or challenged.
As a leader, you have a lot to do. You can’t spend all day rummaging around in the attics of your organization, but you can spend a few hours every now and then. Decide now you will become a “picker,” looking for hidden value in your company, or church, or even your family. You may be surprised who you find—someone just waiting for a chance to shine again (or shine for the first time). Imagine the satisfaction you’ll feel as you’re driving home that day!
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© Copyright 2017 by Dick Wells, The Hard Lessons Company
"The best way to lead people into the future is to connect with them deeply in the present."
Kouzes & Posner