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Perspective Power

Updated: May 29

By Wayne Olson, Wayne Olson Consulting

Want to add power to your day? Add a little perspective.

Too often we get up, get moving and settle into the routine of the day. What we do today will likely be a variation of what we did yesterday. Same stuff, different day. If you want to add a boost and accomplish more today, see it with a new perspective.


As I write this, I am on a Southwest Airlines flight from Tampa to Chicago where I will give a big presentation to fundraisers. In my leather-upholstered chair, the flight attendant just served me a drink and some graham crackers. Out the window to my left, I can see a view that 100 years ago was impossible to accomplish. Kings, Queens and Princes could not pay any price to have the view from 38,000 feet just out my air-conditioned window.

I am reminded of comedian Adam Corolla who has some ideas about this. He says every airport should have a man dressed in period costume as a member of the Donner party. When the man overhears (or observes) people complaining about a delayed flight, or cancellation, he leans over and whispers in the complaining passengers ear and says, “We had to eat our dead on our trip. Your cocktail in the sky can wait 30 minutes. Shut up and be patient.” He would then move on to the next complaining passenger.

Adam’s joke is hilarious but pointed. How much do we take for granted each day? Just two decades ago, video communication (Zoom and Teams) was mostly on the Jetsons cartoon, and not a daily staple of office life. If you could time travel and ask the “you,” of twenty years ago if you would want video communication, even if it would often have technical problems (“Jane, you are on mute, we cannot hear you,” etc.) wouldn’t we still think it would be amazing to have?


I am also reminded of our donors. Do we take them for granted? Has the donor we wished we knew yesterday become taken for granted today? I confess I sometimes take friends, coworkers, and even donors for granted. Familiarity and reliability make it easy to believe what we worked so much to build yesterday would be easy to replace today. That is simply not true. Relationships and friendships built over years can evaporate and erode.


As I look at the countryside below running by at almost the speed of sound, I wonder

what I take for granted, and what new perspectives would help me be a better employee, fundraiser and father and husband. What things do you take for granted that could use a refresh today?


A new perspective reminds us what we have is often more valuable that those things we want. What we have may be better than what we crave.


Maybe we need someone to walk around our offices or randomly appear on our Teams calls dressed as one of the people who pays our bills. He or she could pop in and say, “See that corner you just cut on that report? That little change was enough to lose me as a donor.” Or, he might say, “Go ahead and run that ad again. It worked yesterday, yeah sure, it will work tomorrow. No need to innovate or try something new.” If only we could have a visual reminder that puts our role into clear perspective.


As you begin your day, and as I will begin my day, I will think about the gift that the day is. I will do my best to not take our gifts for granted. And there are plenty of them. Not the least of which are the people we work with and for, and the people who rely on us to do our jobs well.

Books available by Wayne Olson, Click Here to visit

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