Page 5 - iNET magazine.June.2021
P. 5

The Case of Barbie’s

                                                                     Missing Earring:

                                                                     What a Childhood

                                                                     Mystery Taught Me

                                                                     About Problem Solving

                                                                     By Diana Hooker

                lang! Clang! Clang! Was the sound as I walked   apparently fallen out of Barbie’s ear when Carla had
                up the metal steps of my relative’s home that I   left earlier that day. Even though the metal staircase
        Cwas visiting for the week. Earlier that day, I had    was not like the hidden staircase in my mystery book,
        sat at the top of the stairs with my new friend, Carla.   it had played a crucial role in my first case.
        She was a year older than me and lived next door. She   Little did I know at nine years old that this would be
        had excitedly shown me her new Glamour Barbie doll     the beginning of my problem-solving career. Not as
        with removeable earrings which she had just received   a P.I. or a police detective but as an accountant, a tax
        for her tenth birthday. I remembered thinking Carla    preparer and a business results coach. Since then, I
        was so cool and lucky to have such a beautiful Barbie   have often utilized the lessons I learned that day to
        doll. All of my toys had been lost or destroyed by a   help solve my client’s biggest mysteries.
        flood six months earlier.

        Clang! Clang! Bang! Bang! Carla had stomped up the     Lesson One – The obvious answer is not always
        metal staircase and pounded on the door. Her face      the correct answer.  I appeared to be the clear culprit
        was streaked with tears as she held up her Barbie doll   for stealing the earring because I had no toys and I
        with a missing earring. She accused me of stealing it   was jealous, but the reality was that the earring had
        because I was jealous. I was shocked and hurt that     fallen from the doll’s ear accidentally–a solution that
        she would think I would do such a thing. Regardless,   Carla would not have discovered if she’d refused to
        being inspired by the Nancy Drew mystery books I’d     consider other possibilities.
        read, I grabbed a notepad, a pencil, and a magnifying   In business and in life, it’s easy to get trapped in the
        glass to help investigate the case of Barbie’s missing   maze of what seems like obvious answers, but these
        earring.                                               can lead to dead-ends. Exploring options outside the
        I examined the doll and found no evidence of foul play.   box is important to ensure we are doing what is right
        I asked Carla when was the last time she had seen the   and what is best. I kept this in mind when I first started
        earring.  “With you!” she exclaimed. I knew I had not   working with my client, Ken. He told me his goal was
        taken it so I crossed myself off the list of suspects.   to get organized and get more accomplished during
        I remained calm and asked her to retrace her steps     his day. What was apparent was true, but beyond
        from that last moment.  As we proceeded down the       the clutter on his desk and the non-productive times
        stairs, I noticed something reflecting in the sunlight on   in his day was the real answer. He needed to follow
        the bottom step. It was the tiny missing earring. It had   his passion. If we had just organized his desk and

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