How I Measure Success

Thursday, 28 April, 2011 - 5:26 pm

Dear Friends,

I suppose most of you took part in some way in the organization of a small or even big event. You will surely agree with me, that if the guest at the event want it to be a successful and enjoyable event, even more so the organizers.

This week something nice happened to me; a small event which I had planned was canceled, and yet, there was a significant dimension of success.
How so?

Once a month I organize a lunch time meeting in Zug called “Lunch and Learn”.  This is a one hour meeting, where business people and others working near the Chabad Center in Zug, take a break from their intensive work day and enjoy a kosher bagel lunch and some Jewish wisdom with timely messages.

Yesterday, Thursday, I had to cancel the meeting last minute for personal reasons. I felt bad, but I had no choice. So I sent a cancelation email to those who had registered.

Here came a pleasant surprise – I got quite a few emails/sms from friends, each in their own style - here are some of them:

“I was so hungry for bagels and wisdom…”

“I canceled 2 meetings just to be able to study Torah…”

The following SMS I got with a smiley face:

“Rabbi, it is only once a month I eat kosher and hear some Torah words, and you cancel?!”

Now that I get such comments, I’m considering canceling events more often :-)

On a more serious note, through the cancelation of this event, I learned about the success and the importance of it, for all the times when it does take place.

Talking about organizing events in a very small Jewish community such as ours, I remember sending out an email inviting to a pre-Pesach class which I organized quite a couple of years ago, when I first started here.

I expected to have 3 or 4 participants. However, 7 people came! I was very happy indeed.

The class started, and as is my custom, I started with a Jewish joke. I was already at the punch line, when the door bell at the Chabad Center rings and another woman came to join the class.

My joy grew – 8 participants…

The newcomer walks into the room, looks right and left, then looks at me and says:

“Oh Rabbi, I’m sorry, I made a mistake with the date… I thought the class is taking place tonight”

For a minute I didn’t understand what she wanted. Then I got it.

She didn’t believe that for such a class only! 7 people would come, so she was sure that she had made a mistake with the date…

My conclusion was that even to measure the success of events, you have to be a Mayvin (an expert).

Rivky and the children join me in wishing you a Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Chaim

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