the beauty of getting specific

My daughter was nominated for a Principal's Award this year. Last night was the ceremony. It was great. She is great

At the ceremony the principal and vice principal stood at the front of the room and read off the names of each nominee as well as the letter from the teacher who'd nominated that student.

It was lovely hearing about these kids, watching my own little girl go up and receive her award: my pride is immeasurable.

On a separate level, I noticed something interesting about the nominating letters: The ones that were most specific were the most impactful.

For example:

"Sarah is a model student. She's always helping her fellow classmates and shows up 100% every day. She's kind, patient, and a true joy to have in class."


"I nominate Marco for the principal's award because he is so considerate. When he pulled a toy out of the Wow bucket and realized it was the last toy of its kind he chose to put it back so that someone else could win it."

Notice the difference?

Being specific gives the story color. It gives it emotion and something to respond to and engage with. It gives it edges, makes it relatable.

It makes things real.

As a result of this awareness I'm starting to see it everywhere - this lack of specificity AND, alternatively, those moments where getting specific suddenly makes an idea POP.

So when someone comes to me with an idea that they have, a THING they want to do, I want to find out all about it. To ask questions, dig in. The first hour of a Whiteboard Session for New Ideas is all about creating the space to SAY and FLESH out all of the fun and unseen details.

The other day someone said, "I want to make and sell chocolates!"  Last week, "I want to make a fashion line."

My response? "Tell me more. Tell me everything."

Because when we get specific we can turn ideas into projects and projects into action.

Where do your ideas feel vague and foggy? How can you get more specific? Where can you bring that idea to LIFE by looking more closely at the details?

Allegra SteinComment