Straight Lines Should Be Straight

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a serious mental condition causing its sufferers significant anguish. What I have is closer to Overkeen Convenience Disorder. I expect lines which were intended to be straight to actually be straight. My eye catches deviations quickly and it bothers me.

Why does it even matter? To me, an intentional straight line out of kilter is an indicator of other, lesser visible, digressions. As I see it, if they didn’t get a line straight when it was supposed to be, there must be additional corners which were cut.

A colorful example of an apparent mountain made out of a molehill comes from one of the most successful bands in rock and roll history, Van Halen. They famously put many “riders” on their contracts as stipulations for playing concerts. These multiple riders indicated all of the details for stage construction and power needs. Among the oddest of these many requirements buried in the contract was the stipulation that the band would get a bowl filled with M&Ms in their dressing room with absolutely no brown ones. While this may have seemed like another eccentric demand from one of rock’s most outlandish bands, there was a method to the madness. If, upon entering their dressing room, the band found a brown-less bowl full of M&Ms, they could assume the other technical details had been attended to. If they saw anything else, they had reason to check on the other riders which had been added to ensure their crew’s safety from electrocution, the stage was capable of handling the weight of all of their gear, and the stadium’s electrical system was sufficient for the expected amperage.

As an Intimate Proximity leader, you are responsible for everything that your team does or fails to do. You will regularly have to inspect your operations and verify the small things. When your team is in the habit of ensuring the small things are done well, the big things can more easily fall into place.