For four years I commuted to the Cadbury Adams Americas head office in Parsippany, New Jersey. I stayed at the local Sheraton Hotel and got to know the staff.
Mary oversaw the ‘members’ lounge where breakfast was served daily. She was an amazing person whose level of caring was exceptional, who always asking if guests would like anything else. She took pride in everything she did, especially the bananas she served. If they didn’t meet her standards then she wouldn’t serve them.
One day I was in a rush and didn’t have time for my daily banana. Mary said, well you will need to take one on the road. I said, “Sure, this will be my lucky banana.” From that moment on, I left with my daily lucky banana. On stressful days I took two and called them my double-lucky bananas.
Bananas became a daily conversation starter with the project team as we inspected them to see if they were ‘Mary worthy.’ The right attitude can give meaning to the most mundane aspects of change projects.