painting behind scenes

Recently I was painting scenery for our local community theater’s production of The Wizard of Oz. This time my daughter doesn’t have an acting part, but she and I both have roles to play behind the scenes. Roles that ultimately enhance the audience’s experience. Since my “day job” is more mental than physical, it was a nice change of pace. And it got me thinking about the way we do our work.

I was also struck by a recent blog post by Bernadette Jiwa on The Story of Telling site. It’s an idea that dovetails perfectly with what’s been on my mind.

“We underestimate the value of the things we cannot quantify or track—not only to our customers, colleagues or companies but for the joy and fulfilment they bring us in the doing of them. The way we do the work, not just the work itself, is how we own our story.”

We’re committed to helping our clients own their own stories. As we do that, we are typically working behind the scenes. Sometimes that means presenting a final polished product the client can roll out to their audience. And sometimes it means that “x” is better accomplished if we teach our clients how to do “x” themselves.

Either way, we aren’t the stars of the production. And the things we do may not be noticed immediately.

But we ourselves notice, as Jiwa points out, the “joy and fulfilment they bring us in the doing of them.” At EPI, we definitely get a charge out of the doing. Working on a dynamic team in close partnership with our clients, we do our most fulfilling—and thus very best—work when we’ve tapped into our intrinsic motivation, regardless of our individual roles. It’s what gets us up in the morning.

Because a behind-the-scenes commitment is crucial to a quality end product, no matter what business you’re in.

Think about the things people do that you don’t necessarily notice on the spot. The simple task of grabbing a quick cup of coffee involves so much you don’t see. How was the coffee made? What beans did the coffeemaker choose? Did they maintain their equipment so you got something fresh and full of taste? Did they serve the coffee with a smile and a friendly greeting?

What we do behind the scenes to own our stories, our standards of quality, affects the world around us. It’s up to each of us to paint the scenery that matters most—and to paint it well. Even if no one notices right away.


photo of Michelle Kelly

Michelle Kelly, CEO (Chief Enjoyment Officer)


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