#BookClub: Sweepus Underum Carpetae – Leadership Lesson from The Lost Thing

Granny is Mother of All PR Nightmares for SeaWorld
May 15, 2014
#MediaMonday – Joanie Simon
May 19, 2014
Show all

sweepusI came across a list several weeks ago that talked about five childrens’ books that all business people should read.  And since HMA does a book club and there are five of us and five books, I purchased them all and each of us will be writing about one of those books in the weeks to come.

It was a random draw and I got The Lost Thing, by Shaun Tan.  First, the book is absolutely gorgeous.  The illustrations are amazing and the writing and style are so intriguing.  It is a book I will keep, if for no other reason that it is something beautiful to have on my shelf.

The basic premise of the book: a young boy, while collecting bottle caps, comes across a humongous red thing.  Looking totally out of place, the little boy decided to investigate and found the thing to be quite friendly and very lost so decided to take it home.  Mum and Dad wanted nothing to do with it. But since the thing was lost, the little boy didn’t know what to do.  Until he found a small ad in the local newspaper.  It seems there was an actual place for odds and ends – sweepus underum carpetae.  The company actually offered a place to sweep things under the carpet, to pigeon-hole things into places where they didn’t belong.

But while attempting to leave the thing behind, someone came up to the little boy and suggested that there might be a better way to deal with the thing. So off they went to find the place where the thing belonged.  And once they found that perfect place, the thing sighed a happy sigh and the little boy felt good about leaving the thing there.

The moral of the story – the author says there really isn’t one.  But I think there is.

We all belong somewhere and sometimes it just takes a while to figure out where that is. It is ok to be different and to stand out from the crowd.  All it takes is for one person to recognize that our differences are actually our assets and that once we find that perfect place to be, we can all be perfect.

I like that.

Abbie S. Fink
Abbie S. Fink
Vice President/General Manager Abbie has been doing public relations her whole life…from organizing a picket line in 6th grade to organizing client communications today. She’s passionate about a lot of things, you’ll see. Check out Abbie's full bio


  1. Alison Bailin says:

    Based on your great recap, I actually take a different lesson – one particularly good in crisis communications settings. DONT TRY TO SWEEP IT UNDER THE RUG! It never works, and usually makes things worse.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *