Last weekend I cancelled a dinner party. Although I had been looking forward to it, various circumstances led me to make the decision to reschedule, one of the more important of which was the number of people who could attend. Looking at the guest list at the 11th hour, I decided it would be more conducive to what I wanted to accomplish to postpone the event until more people could come.
So with mixed feelings, I sent an email to my invitees. It landed in their inboxes with an apology for the inconvenience and a promise that the new event would be even better than the original I had planned.
As I moved to selecting new dates, my own inbox pinged. One of my invitees had responded, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, with something like this:
How will you make it better? What did you have planned for the first one so I will know how to judge the second one? I’m going to hold you to that!
Even if he was being a smart alec, I thought it was great. I work with this guy, and questions like that underscore why I find him so effective. He digs in, asks the right questions, and holds people accountable. And he does it in a way that people respect–i.e., he’s not a jerk about it.
I know he meant that message as a joke, just to poke a bit of fun at me, but he’s right. I’m already reconsidering my menu and brainstorming some fun activities. He’s holding me accountable, and I plan to rise to the challenge.