Over this past summer, I spent a few weekends building a basketball court for our family. The whole experience was a long, yet very positive one. From paving the flat area, to digging holes, trying to get the screws in, straightening the hoop, and finally painting lines, it was a lot of time and effort. However, all in all, it was a fun experience and everyone pitched in, in one way or another.
On the last day of work, before we were having guests over to introduce the court (kind of like a ribbon-cutting), we were painting the lines. It was a beautiful, low-humidity Saturday with bright sunshine. We began with reviewing the dimensions thoroughly and then chalking out the lines. My son and I double and triple-checked our angles. Once we knew the lines were straight, we snapped the chalk line.
Next, we used a device that helps to paint our straight lines. Called a wheeling machine, you push it and it sprays an inverted spray paint. We set the device and followed our chalk line, spraying the spray paint as we went. The lines were crisp, bright, and popped off the court.
Lastly, we put in the circle areas. These are the areas above the free-throw line and the three-point line. We carefully measured these, made hand chalk lines, followed with white paint and a square brush. We were all thrilled with the outcome. It came out great!
As I was painting the lines I was thinking about how exact I needed to be. How I needed to follow the dimensions to the very center and be exact. From the exact center point of the hoop, to the exact measurement of the line. Taking it from the dimensions and mapping it out on the court. Everything had to be exact.
There are times in our lives when we must be exact. I enjoy working in schools and in leadership where there’s some autonomy. Where there’s some artistic flair in the work we’re doing, style, tone, and plenty of autonomy. This was not the case at this moment. I need to be exact and do exactly what the dimensions read.
It’s important in leadership and in life to know the difference. I remember as a kid watching my dad mix medicines as a pharmacist. It was extremely important to be precise as you were dealing with people’s lives and their health. What are the moments in your life, and in your work where you need to be exact versus allowing artistic freedoms? In those moments, ensure you are following the lines, drawing them straight, and being on point. It’s important to make sure you get the outcome you want. Keep surviving and thriving and drawing straight lines when you need them most!
If I can help you in any way don’t hesitate to reach out at @andrewmarotta21 on Twitter. Contact me about your next speaking engagement.