Twelve minutes before I was to speak to a large group in a hotel ballroom, I was struggling with A/V equipment. With hundreds of presentations under my belt, I’m accustomed to glitches, but no matter what I tried my presentation wouldn’t project.
Hailing the meeting planner, he did his magic and within minutes an A/V tech arrived with another projector. That, too, failed and with five minutes remaining, he began troubleshooting each part of the set-up; I began rearranging my opening to buy more time. There was no need. The projector wasn’t the problem, the cord was. I was up and running with two minutes to spare.
But, this isn’t a story about A/V problems. It’s a story about two kinds of people.
At the end of my session, the technician returned to pack the equipment, putting the defective cord into the box with the projector. Thinking he forgot there was a problem with the cord, I reminded him.
“Yeah, I remember,” he said matter-of-factly. “But every projector has to have a cord. There are two projectors, so I need to put two cords back.” His thinking startled me. Clearly he (continue reading →)