key perspectives: fresh produce

One’s mental and physical outlook has incalculable benefits upon productivity and key perspectives.

So that knowledge and $5 will get you a cup of Starbucks, right? But add somevanilla and cinnamon in the form of what you really believe in and watch the price come down while your cup runneth over. This isn’t some pithy statement borne of over-caffeinated wishful thinking, but a universal truism that remains surprisingly lacking across industries and businesses both large and small.

Yet the indicators abound. I was recently in Whole Foods and observed a young bagger in his 20s carry out his repetitive task with such enthusiasm and efficiency that I literally wanted to hire him on the spot. I gave Matt my card and asked him to check in with me in a few months. At a Starbucks just outside of Philadelphia where I sometimes have informal business meetings, I’ve been struck with barista Vanessa’s clear dedication and charm with customers, whom she more often than not greets with their first names. Or at TD Bank branches on the Main Line, where I’m also regularly greeted by first name at the drive-up windows before I even put my transaction in the tube, and whose tellers are invariably quick and efficient.

We hear a constant barrage of negativity about the country’s employment situation, about record home foreclosures, about daily struggles just to put food on the table or pay the electric bill—all very real concerns. But think about it: those willing to learn, eager to interact with the public, enthusiastic whatever the task at hand, and reliable day in and day out will always be able to find work. And not just the kind of work that allows for a simple paycheck, but the kind of fresh pursuits for which they can’t wait to get to each morning. The rises can be quick; Europe’s young entrepreneurs offer prime lessons in creativity, persistence and enthusiasm.

The quality and nature of what we produce—the kind of productivity we live by—cannot help but sustain not only ourselves, but those we influence and come in contact with each and every day.