You may have heard the saying, “If you want something done, give it to a busy person” (often attributed to someone named Benjamin Franklin). This adage was intended to acknowledge that more is achieved and accomplished by more active people. You can also imagine that Anne Miner is one of those “busy people” to whom much is “given.”
Well, the other day, I overheard Anne on the phone saying,
“I am not standing in front of the hat rack waiting for another hat to fall on my head.”
When I got a moment alone with her, I said, “That was a funny thing for you to say. What did you mean about waiting for another hat to fall on your head?”
Anne smiled as she explained, "Some time ago, I took stock of all the hats I was wearing, including Business Owner, CEO, Committee Chair, Vice-Chair, Committee Member, Leader, Follower, Contributor, Coach, Mentor, Author, Speaker, Advisor,
Wife, Sister, Aunt, Great-Aunt, Step-Mother, Friend, and Neighbor; and it was just too much!
I decided to direct my energies where they make the most significant impact.”
In other words, Anne decided to focus on the areas where she can make her highest and best contribution. Instead of taking on more roles and responsibilities, more hats, she is actively empowering others to take the hats that reflect their highest and best.
I thought about that for a bit. While owls don’t wear hats, so even one hat would be too many for me, I can see what Anne means. She does wear many “hats.” Some every day, and some only when needed.
The conversation I overheard was Anne clearly, firmly, and gently declining an opportunity to accept the hat, assume responsibility, for something that she could undoubtedly do but would be done better by someone else.
There is one hat she loves to wear once a year, at Halloween, when she dresses up to greet the children who venture to her door. Anne loves to see the children’s happy faces and admire their costumes; for just a few hours, she is a very convincing hag!
The rest of the year, Anne chooses “invisible hats” that reflect those roles where she uses her influence to make the most significant impact for good in the world.
Let’s all choose our hats wisely so we can focus on our highest and best contributions!