Stick (and not) Like Velcro

Leader 2 Leader Blog, Industry,

By: Andrew Marotta

My office walls are made of cinder blocks covered with white paint. It’s very challenging to hang things up, but I wanted to decorate it and make it a colorful and inviting space. 

My head custodian told me he had just the thing to do the job. It was a super sticky and strong Velcro. He gave me a roll of black velcro tape, cut into 1-inch squares. The one side had the little hooks that grabbed into the other half and then on the backside of that was a clear film you had to take off, which would stick to anything. Very strong as advertised.

Sometimes in life, there are people that are always having things happening to them. They’re always getting involved in situations, and always seem to be attracting bad news or negative people.  This can be especially true working with Middle Schooler’s. For the past few years, I’ve found myself repeatedly getting involved, saying “you do not have to respond”, “you do not have to engage with that person, nor reply to their social media post.” Yet time, and time again, kids found themselves getting involved.

I began using the very same Velcro strips as a prop while talking with kids and adults in my office. I would say “Be like Velcro. Stick to the things that you want. But you don’t have to peel off the back, and you won’t stick to anything.” I would literally press it against their skin, and ask them to see what I meant.

I offer the same advice to you in this blog: be like Velcro. Stick to the things that work for you and enrich your life, and make you happy. If not, let it roll off, and not be part of your life. You don’t have to respond to every social media post, email, or poke at you. You can be like Velcro but not peel the sticky part back.

It’s a choice. It literally comes down to the choice of how you want to conduct yourself and engage with others.

I wish you the best on your journey.

If I can help you in any way, don’t hesitate to reach out at @andrewmarotta21 on Twitter. I’d love to speak with you about connecting with your organization for professional development, leading, keynote addresses, or staff training. Keep surviving and thriving.