The Point: This week’s unveiling of a time capsule buried nearly 200 years ago in Boston by Samuel Adams and Paul Revere got us thinking at Tip of the Spear… If you as a leader were going to build/burry your own time capsule, what would you put inside it? Centuries from now, upon unearthing, what would you want future generations to know about leadership in 2015? With that in mind, we’ve identified out top five inclusions… Enjoy!
The 1795 Time Capsule – Wow!
The time capsule that Samuel Adams and Paul Revere compiled was rather small in size, measuring 5.5 x 7.5 x 1.5 inches. With such little room to share with future generations, we’ll keep the same dimensions for our purposes here. With great care (apparently the capsule was previously discovered/removed/reburied in 1855 during some other repairs), the contents were examined with brain-surgeon-like care by Pam Hatchfield, Head of Objects Conservation for Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts. Using a porcupine quill and her grandfather’s dental tool, here’s what Hatchfield safely removed from the 10-pound box:
- Five folded newspapers
- A Massachusetts commonwealth seal
- A title page from Massachusetts colony records
- At least 24 coins
- An inscribed rectangular silver plate (probably made/engraved by Paul Revere)
As the contents were removed, onlookers could hear Hatchfield exclaim “Wow!” with each extraction.
So What Exactly is a Time Capsule?
According to Wikipedia, a time capsule is “a historic cache of goods or information, usually intended as a method of communication with future people and to help future archaeologists, anthropologists or historians.” So what would we possibly want to leave behind to effectively communicate the leadership challenges of today?
If you’re thinking like I’m thinking, we’d probably want to include items that captured not only represent the successes achieved, but the failures experienced as well. Perhaps we could also throw in a few items that captured emotions of those experiences (both good and bad). Keep in mind, we only have 5.5 x 7.5 x 1.5 inches.
The 2015 Leadership Time Capsule
Here then is a list of the items that we’d put into our 2015 Leadership Time Capsule:
- An iPhone 6+ – Technology is revolutionizing leadership, and nothing says technological leadership quite like the new Apple iPhone 6+!
- URLs to Google, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn – Where do you as a leader go for information? Odds are, these are your first choices to gain perspective on the leadership challenges you face day in/day out.
- The Wall Street Journal – Although you can get the majority of your news fed to you virtually, we still have this tactile form a media in distribution.
- A brand new $100 Bill – Sean Combs (aka, Puff Daddy) and a host of others sang (?) about it back in 1997, but this isn’t just about the song. This bill represents the economy, art, and technology coming together all in one simple (yet complicated) piece of paper.
- A coin of each denomination (penny, nickel, dime, and quarter) – Ok, while the majority of us swipe a credit card for nearly all purchases, regardless of the inherent “hacker” dangers present, we’re including these because apparently the inclusion of coins wards off the growth of fungus!
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PS – You may also enjoy some of the other recent posts I wrote:
- The Leadership Challenge: 10 Characteristics to Develop Your Executive Presence
- The Leadership Challenge: Happy New Year! Now What?
- Leadership Amnesia: Should You Forget the Past to Move Forward to a Better Future?
- The Leadership Challenge: Are Your SMART Goals DUMB?
- The Leadership Challenge: Are You Climbing the Leadership Mountain?
- The Leadership Challenge: They Want You To Fail! 8 Leadership Tips to Overcome Failure
- The Leadership Challenge: Do You Exercise Your Moral Muscle?
- The Leadership Challenge: Conducting Post-Mortem Reviews
Sam Palazzolo is the Managing Director at Tip of the Spear Ventures, an agile Venture Capital and Business Advisory Services firm specializing in Executive Coaching, Leadership Development, and Communication Skills Training for Leaders.