Thought-full Thursday: Chance Encounters


Every Thursday, we provide you with a thoughtful way to coach yourself – something all leaders need to do. Today we feature a quote from Art Petty, a thoughtful author, blogger, teacher, coach and consultant. I love Art’s blog – it’s always insightful and practical. His most recent book, which the quote below is taken from, is a wonderful compilation of essays on how to increase your leadership effectiveness – and for those of you who “don’t have time to read” – no excuses here. The essays are brief, and a great way to begin your day along with your cup of java and so much healthier than a donut.

So take five and enjoy the quote and reflect on the questions that follow. Your comments and answers to the questions are always welcome!


A chance encounter is a horrible thing to waste. Too many managers roll through their days on a mission chasing the urgent and the urgent-unimportant, without investing any time in cultivating relationships. Develop the good habit of leveraging casual and fast encounters to pay respect, show interest, and offer help, and you’ll single-handedly raise the office energy level. ~Art Petty, excerpted from Leadership Caffeine: Ideas to Energize Your Professional Development.


  • Observe as you go about your day. Who needs your respect, interest or help?
  • What other things are you practicing to intentionally cultivate relationships?
  • What will it take to make relationship building as important as the urgent in your day?


I am a former executive in a Fortune 100 company. I have owned and operated an executive coaching firm since 2003 called Aspire Collaborative Services LLC. We partner with great leaders to help them become even greater at developing, improving, and sustaining relationships with the people who are essential to their success. This blog is for leaders and those who help them to be more intentional about relationships at work. My top personal values include respect for others, kindness, compassion, collaboration and gratitude. I work very hard at practicing my values daily and when I don’t succeed, I practice some more. I am married with two wonderful daughters and two spoiled pugs.

One comment on “Thought-full Thursday: Chance Encounters

  1. “… as important as the urgent in your day”–what a great thing to remember! Thank you, Mary Jo, for taking a thoughtful Thursday and moving it into my weekend. It IS healthier than a donut. 🙂

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