Spectrum Connection: May 2021

From the desk of Dave Smalley: One Bite At A Time

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We all face challenges and problems, both at home and in our professional lives. As we have conversations about reopening, and the seemingly overwhelming challenge it represents, I am reminded of a documentary I read. It was about a young man that accomplished many, many extraordinary things in life. He was a world class athlete, he had graduate degrees from two Ivy League universities, and through his entrepreneurial spirit was a self-made multi-millionaire. He did all this by the time he was 30. WOW!

If this is not amazing enough, in an interview, the interviewer rattled off all his accomplishments and then quizzed the young man as to what challenge he wanted to take on next. His answer was succinct, “I want to cure cancer.” I am pretty sure that would not have been my answer, ha! But for him, why not?

The long and short of it is, to find the cure for cancer one must first isolate the cancer cell or gene. It seems those cells are hidden away in a very long DNA chain, miles long, of microscopic cells. To check just one of these many mile long chains takes an incredibly long time.

This fellow looked at how scientists were attacking the problem and, in short order, devised a way that the DNA chain could be broken into ten parts, and those ten chains could then be checked simultaneously to find the mutant cancer cell. This of course made the research ten times faster than before, and in theory takes us ten times faster to a cure. Brilliant!

We are not doing anything near as important as curing cancer, but what this fellow did gave me pause to look at problem solving with a different perspective. So many times, when faced with a problem, we are predisposed to seeing it as this insurmountable mountain. People look at the mountain and freeze, taking no action because the problem appears so overwhelming to them.

The reality of it is, rarely are we faced with one big problem. That mountain we think we see is really not a mountain at all, just a pile of many different components, or smaller problems, that when separated and identified are much less daunting and much easier to tackle and solve. One by one, eliminating these smaller problems makes that big problem mighty small.

It proves that old adage, “How do you eat an elephant?” One bite at a time. The next time you think you are faced with an insurmountable challenge, take a step back and look at it for what it is, not what you perceive it to be. Break that challenge down into the parts and pieces that it really is, and eat that elephant, one bite at a time!

With love and respect,

Dave Smalley


From the desk of Melanie Smalley.

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In an effort to keep our Corporate Pillars front of mind, I wish to encourage you to understand why our Pillars are important for YOU!

  • We work toward common goals.
  • We understand Spectrum organizational culture.
  • We respect Spectrum core values and vision.
  • We are purpose driven.
  • We make the right decisions.

I recently took a class about “cultivating your purpose”.  I ask you to keep this definition in mind.

your brand, what you’re driven to achieve, the magic that makes you tick. It’s the strengths and passions you bring to the table no matter where you’re seated. It’s what everyone close to you recognizes as uniquely you and would miss if you were gone”.

I encourage you to continue to study each Pillar and how we ultimately defined these values.   For all you do and for all you do to inspire and motivate: HEART, SERVICE, LEADERSHIP, INTEGRITY, AND INNOVATION…YOU ARE SPECTRUM!



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