Dry Hands

I was at a John Maxwell event last year and heard a great little story that has stuck with me.

We were asked to show up with a 5-minute table presentation to help hone our speaking skills.  We could choose any topic to speak about - with the purpose of showing strong speaking and engaging skills.  I think we all did a good job, felt good about my own presentation as well, but one stood out to me.

It wasn’t the delivery or engagement that caught my attention, but the message in itself. And I doubt the presenter even sensed the real depth to his message. Plus, he came up with it only a few minutes before we were to present.  In fact, it came to him shortly after visiting the men’s room.

After washing his hands, he quickly grabbed some paper towels to dry them off. You know how it is drying your hands…are they really fully, “hand-shake-ready dry” when you leave? Well, he was in a hurry and thought, “They’re dry enough, and who am I going to run into anyway?”  Did I mention this was a John Maxwell event? Yep – that’s who he immediately saw upon exiting the bathroom, and there was no way to avoid an introduction. So, what happened next? The handshake. And it was a wet one as he described, or even better, a moist handshake. A moist handshake coming out of the bathroom leaves little to the imagination. Nothing like a first impression with the most well-known leadership author and teacher in the world!

His 5-minute presentation was about changing our “good enough” mindset. He thought his hands were good enough coming out of the bathroom. Wrong. Definitely not good enough.

Where do we need to be less accepting of the “good enough” mentality?  In what parts of our business and life do we need to be more thorough, more complete and more exceptional?

I can tell you, I always remember this story when I’m drying my hands. They’re 100% bone dry when I leave. Not taking any chances!