Service Minded

Debra Helwig on Marketing & Leadership in Professional Services

Wash Your Woobie

Posted by debrahelwig on March 5, 2009

True confessions time: I sleep with a security blanket.

All right, it’s not really a Linus Van Pelt-style security blanket. That down-filled sofa throw is actually my insurance in the “I-like-to-sleep-hot, he-likes-to-sleep-cold” thermostat wars. It’s toasty. It’s soft. And I like it a lot, especially when it’s cold outside. I like it so much, in fact, that my husband nicknamed it “the Woobie,” just like the security blanket the kid had in the movie Mr. Mom.

About a week ago, my eight-month-old did what babies do best and burped up all over it. Off to the laundry pile went the Woobie.

I should have washed it right away.

But my older child needed her karate ghi cleaned. Baby needed bibs. Husband needed that shirt and a pair of jeans for a trip out of town. And on and on. So, dutiful mommy, I did that stuff first. Woobie stayed at the bottom of the laundry basket —

Exactly where it remained when a freak snowstorm landed on my hometown Sunday and socked us in with no power for three whole days. Not enough wood for the fire.  Not enough blankets.  Cold, cold, cold. And no clean Woobie.

Unhappy me.

So what does my unhappy, dirty Woobie have to do with leadership and marketing?  Just this:

On your to-do list, there are items you know you need to accomplish to make you more efficient, an effective leader, more productive — just plain better at what you do.

Stuff like a career plan. Training (for you, not your staff). If you’re a marketer, maybe a full overview of your Web site and collateral. Research into a new potential niche. Launching a blog or Twitter account.

You know, stuff you’ve been meaning to do, but that keep getting shoved to the bottom of the pile by urgent requests from your peers, bosses, and friends.

Stop ignoring that stuff. Learn a lesson from my Woobie.

The “snowstorm” in your job is coming. Whether it’s good or bad – a hit from the economy, a new business opportunity, a key employee who quits suddenly, a new client coming on board who needs your skills – something is coming that will make you wish you’d taken care of yourself as well as handling all the other crises going on at your firm.

So today, figure out just one thing you’ve been putting off to the benefit of everyone else. And do it. Wash your Woobie.

Take care of your own future as well as everyone else’s. That way you’re ready for whatever happens next.


One Response to “Wash Your Woobie”

  1. What a wonderful post and so appropriately timed. Felt like you wrote this one just for me actually.

    Great analogy. Important message.


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