Professional Pointers From Your Kids: Mother Goose Simple

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John Page, Senior Vice President of Golden State Foods, describes why it is important to get down to the basics.Fall14_ProfessionalPointers_small

By John Page

C.A.Y.G.O. (clean as you go) is one of the first things I learned as a teenager on my first job as a crew member at McDonald’s over thirty years ago.  This tool helped me focus on first things first, balance a number of tasks in a support role and create an inviting environment.  “I need a sweep and a mop” was what I would hear before I set about my tasks in front and behind the counter.  It taught me everybody had a role, and no task was too small to make things go right. I have told nieces and nephews, my sons, and professionals that you have to CAYGO—which means you can do it all, but you must have some order and ability to address clutter and solve problems as they arise.  You don’t let it pile up or defer what is right in front of you simply to move to the next matter.  CAYGO helps keep it simple.  While there are those who are less pragmatic and seek to build upon complexity because their degrees and education require such, we need thinkers and problem solvers.  So simple is not always easy for us educated folk.  We often confuse activity with achievement. I adhere to the notion stated by Da Vinci, “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” So using phrases like “CAYGO”, “Mother Goose Simple” and “First things First” are full of lessons and guiding principles that to this day help me and others do our jobs better.

“Mother Goose Simple”

Explain it to me like I am a three year old. Everything can be explained and understood. I learned at an early age that simplicity is not synonymous with being less intelligent. Quite the opposite, the ability to take large amounts of information, data or subject matter and recovery it in easy to understand terms is a tool I encourage others to use, especially in the legal profession. Over the years I have coined the phrase: make it “Mother Goose Simple.”

John-Page182John Page is the Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Golden State Foods. He was featured in Issue 12 of Forefront Magazine.

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