Saint Augustine postulated that the human mind is made up of little chambers that will hold whatever is directed into them. If you fill them with images of success, you will become successful. If you fill them with regret, you will fail and become bitter. This is true of organizations as well.
Here’s how one admin put those ideas into practice while working for New York City's government.
In a city where "vertical" real estate is just as important as horizontal, Elizabeth Nadler worked in the Elevators and Escalators section of the Capital ProgramDivision. Her boss was the Construction Manager, an engineer who also supervised project managers.
Nadler noticed that certain types of submittals were not getting to the right place to be evaluated. She decided to dig deep to find out why. “Even the project managers who had been working there for years didn't know where they were supposed to go. Every time one of these 'chemical' submittals went into the proverbial black hole, it would delay progress on that part of a project for at least 3 weeks, which could easily delay other parts of the project and lead to cost overruns… In the world of construction, engineering and architecture, that forced the creation of a 'Change Order' to justify why specific additional monies needed to be added to the project budget, which then has to be approved, meaning further delays.
“Once I succeeded in finding the proper protocol, I wrote a memo for my boss and the project managers and I made copies of all the paperwork that was supposed to accompany the submissions, and distributed copies to one and all.”
It worked. She ended the vicious cycle of constant and unnecessary construction delays, saving thousands of dollars for the department.
Nadler adds, “We admins can not only affect the bottom line on how projects are executed but a whole lot more.”
The author of The Power of Positive Thinking, Norman Vincent Peale summed it up well: No matter what your circumstances, if you create a mental image of yourself as a supreme success and hold tightly to that image, you will make that image become reality.
Photo: The Manhattan Municipal Building, home to many New York City government agencies, courtesy Wikimedia Commons.