The Gift of Anticipation

By Mimi Dionne posted 02-02-2011 02:41


What gift do you think a good servant has that separates him from the others? It’s the gift of anticipation. And I’m a good servant.  I’m better than good, I’m the best—I’m the perfect servant. I know when they’ll be hungry, and the food is ready; I know when they’ll be tired and the bed is turned down.  I know it before they know it themselves.

Gosford Park, 2001

The ten year anniversary in Records is a big deal to us practitioners because if you look at the job advertisements on the Institute of Certified Records Managers’ Career Opportunities page, you’ll notice Director positions open at that level of experience. Of course, we all want to be a Director as quickly as possible.

My formula is enjoyment + precision = path.  When I entered the profession ten years ago, I was obsessed with garnering enough experience to do the really interesting work—the digital archives, the electronic records management projects.  I carefully chose my assignments. When I plateaued, to test my devotion and increase my levels of proficiency I found information management jobs such as auditing or new business intake that taught me parameters around the core work that I love. I never really left records.

Watch Helen Mirren deliver the above passage in the 2001 film Gosford Park (fabulous movie—if you’ve got Netflix, stream it. You WON’T be sorry…there’s A LOT going on). The quote resonates. We want to be the perfect employee *so badly*. We want to lead—to be considered thought leaders—and to be loved by our colleagues and valued by our company. We want the experience that comes with trust.

Ms. Mirren’s character states with an almost psychopathic exactitude what the secret is: nurturing your ability to anticipate your company’s needs and the personal wherewithal to act on them. With Records friends, I’ve developed two approaches to records management: a mathematical application to devise retention and project management for electronic document control and records processes, both of which I’ll discuss here in the near future pending my peer groups’ approvals.  Indeed, I look forward to sharing my colleagues with you, if they’ll let me—they’re smart cookies and you want to know them.

I should have celebrated my Records decade last year in May, but I was winning a battle against cancer (extraordinary how a Hash run with a colleague can save your life). Because cancer sends you into a hyper intensive state of personal reflection, I suddenly had a great deal of time *to think* and re-evaluate what was important to me.

It isn’t thought leadership. Don’t misunderstand me—I know a lot of you love that term. If you love it, good on you.  My crest this year says simplicity, precision and service.  To borrow from Dr. Marcella Fierro, MD, from PBS’s Frontline episode “Post Mortem”, I’m not anti-thought leadership, I’m pro-value. Because service begets competency.

#Records-Management #Competency #ElectronicRecordsManagement