Over a Decade of Keeping it all Together!
By: Sandi Verrecchia @satoriinsight
I admit that since October 2004, when I first started my business consulting career, I have had a relationship with the “little black book.” Now, I know what you are thinking….”every good business consultant has a solid Rolodex, but it is not usually referred to as a little black book!” You are right. Keeping track of the people I meet, the constant staffing changes within organizations, retirements and new positions is exceptionally important, but that it not what I am I referring to…The “little black book” in my life is a 9.25” by 7.25”, 192 page, hard cover notebook, usually purchased in packs of three.
For 17 years, every telephone call, client visit, client request, business idea, ‘to do’ list (of which there have been many), strategic plan, moments of doubt and moments of jubilance has been recorded in a little black book. Now I have to confess, the odd time the book is blue (out of desperation), and I have occasionally tried different types of books, but I always go back…the little black book just feels right.
Each book lasts approximately six months. The cycle is roughly January to June and July to December. I don’t plan this cycle, it just happens naturally. Now, I don’t know about you, but as I get older my memory is not what it once was, and juggling 15-30 clients and projects at any given time can sometimes make remembering an exact request difficult. But I do remember time. So I can tell you that, in roughly the second quarter of 2016, a particular client called to discuss their upcoming Board planning session. I can promptly pull the appropriate book, leaf through it quickly, and the conversation comes flooding back. It is there, acting as my memory, in thin tip blue ink. The number of times that I have pulled an old book from the shelf of my mahogany credenza over the past 17 years is countless. And truth be told….the “little black book” has saved me many, many times.
Every new employee that starts at Satori is provided with a black book of their own. Some use them, some don’t, but I always share my philosophy on using the book as a means to plan and strategize, to stay on top of work, to prioritize, to remember past conversations, and to remember those important thoughts that come to me in the middle of the night. Best of all, is the release of endorphins that come from the cathartic practice of crossing out a completed task!
As 2017 came to a close, I was reflecting on the incredibly busy year that Satori Consulting inc. just completed. I wondered just how I kept every competing priority, client engagement, project deliverable and milestone from colliding or even worse faltering. As I flipped through the pages to my June thru December 2017 book and began my new 2018 book, I realized just how important my little black book is in keeping my growing business consulting practice on track, my customers happy, and my busy life sane. And as you may have guessed, 2018 starts with a “to do” list.
Happy New Year to Everyone and may 2018 be a healthy, prosperous and just plain fabulous!
#businessconsulting #leadership #managementconsulting #satoriinsight #littleblackbook
CMC, CPCC, MBA
Sandi Verrecchia is a Certified Management Consultant, holds a Masters degree and is a professional Leadership Coach. With over 20 years of experience in the financial services, academic and not for profit sectors, her diverse background of consulting, operations, marketing and sales is a wonderful compliment to her passion for coaching.