Levi, Ray & Shoup, Inc.

Paraphrasing Van Gogh

9/28/2023 by Patrick Schmidt
Starry Night cropped.jpg

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a paraphrase as, “a restatement of a text, passage, or work giving the meaning in another form.” The term comes to us from the Latinized Greek word "paraphrasis" (παράφρασις), meaning a way of saying something other than the original text or statement. And, for the more adventurous among you, those really are the Greek letters. You can look the word up here.

Right now, first-time readers of my blog are scratching their heads thinking, “I thought this was a technology blog.” Hang in there…

We’ll get to IT in a few moments. Regular readers are thinking, “How is he going to twist this?” I hope not to disappoint either group.

I was reminded of the word paraphrase when I was thinking about one of those Successories posters about teamwork. You know these posters as they have hung in nearly every corporate office for more than 25 years. They include an image with a motivational phrase meant to inspire a certain positive behavior. I suspect they can, but they have also inspired a line of “demotivational” posters. Funny, but wrong.

Let me get back to the teamwork poster I mentioned above.

This poster features the image of a line of ants working together includes a quote attributed to the artist Vincent Van Gogh – "Great things are done by a series of small things brought together." Did the famous Dutch painter who painted over 860 oils on canvas including the Starry Night, Irises, and the Sunflowers Series, really say that?

Well, probably not exactly. The quote may be a paraphrase from a letter.

In October 1882, Vincent Van Gogh wrote a letter to his brother Theo in which he stated, “For the great doesn’t happen through impulse alone, and is a succession of little things that are brought together.” To me, this phrase sounds more like the oft quoted master artist.

The phrase could be used to describe the LRS IT Solutions team. Here’s how . . .

Two weeks ago, the entire team met in our Springfield, IL home office to review our last fiscal year and plan for the next. This was only the second time since the COVID-related work-from-home orders that our entire team was able to meet in person. There is a power in meeting face-to-face and these sessions did not disappoint.

During our three days, the word “teamwork” was spoken often, but I believe its use was not mere platitude or soundbite. It is the core of who we are and how we serve our customers.

I am constantly in awe of the number of skilled professionals we have that do the “little things” that add up to greatness. Our team is purposeful and humbly confident that we can do the right things at the right time to ensure our customers’ success.

And we have the evidence to back it up.

In one session of our meetings, Michael Duncan, our Director of Service Delivery, showed the team a series of emails from a variety of our customers praising the thoughtfulness, professionalism, and effectiveness of our team members. All the messages were unsolicited and authentic.

Some praised the successful culmination of a months-long project. Others profusely thanked the LRS team for its quick thinking in resolving a variety of issues. Sill others thanked the team for suggesting alternative solutions to vexing problems.

Listening to Michael’s presentation, I felt a sense of gratitude and pride grow in me. It went far beyond just “liking” my colleagues (I do, by the way). With a renewed sense of admiration and respect I thought to myself, “I get to work with these people every day.”

And you can, too.

We have professionals that scale the entire technology stack including AI and analytics, infrastructure, security, and software to name a few. Combined with a well-seasoned team of account executives, our team makes sure those “little things” and details come together to produce the greatness our customers deserve.

Skeptical? Vincent Van Gogh also said, “What would be of life if we didn´t have the courage of doing something new?” Do something new and contact us to find out how we can exceed your expectations.

Editor's note: The image above was also paraphrased; we cropped the original to fit our format.

About the author

Patrick Schmidt is a Technology Lifecycle Management Specialist with LRS IT Solutions. For more than 25 years, he has been helping customers get a firm grasp on their asset and contract management with a combination of comprehensive service level analysis and lifecycle management best practices.