J. Keith Hughey


Volume XX, Number 34 (Issue 986) August 22, 2022


How many of the capitalization rules do you remember from your grammar lessons? Without looking it up I know you capitalize the first word in a sentence and proper names and titles. Beyond that, I am obliged to rely on the editor feature in Word and my proofreaders to help me avoid obvious mistakes. Having asked and personally answered the question, I thought the least I could do is look up the rules. This is what I relearned: You capitalize the first word following a colon (under certain conditions). You also capitalize the first word in a quote; days, months, and holidays; the titles of artistic works; cities, countries, nationalities, and languages; time periods and events; nicknames; brand names; and art movements. There are exceptions, of course (like one connected to the “following a colon” reference above), which cannot only drive one crazy, they also make us look marginally literate.

But capitalization rules don’t stop there. As someone who holds an undergraduate business degree with a major in accounting (I haven’t a clue if I should be capitalizing any of those terms, but I don’t believe I should), I am also aware of accounting rules that require the capitalization of certain expenditures. Specifically, if the expected useful life of the item extends beyond a year (think plant, property, and equipment), then the expenditure can be recorded as a fixed asset. The immediate impact of that classification is to reduce expenses and increase reported profits in the current period. That’s GAAP. The IRS has their own set of rules related to the expensing of certain costs. I won’t attempt to go there.

We cannot stop there, however. That’s because there is another form of capitalization I want to bring to your attention: capitalization learning. I encountered that term a little more than a week ago. The moment I stumbled across it I was fascinated by its application. In part that’s because it connects to so much of the coaching and leadership development we do. Specifically, capitalization learning can be defined as the tendency to become very good at the things we are already good at because we enjoy practicing those skills. Strengths thus become magnified by our application of those strengths in our work and routines.

To this I’ll add there is a body of research that states it takes a minimum of ten thousand hours of practice to become exceptionally proficient at any skill – one’s natural ability notwithstanding. So, the more your work enables you to use your inherent strengths, the better you become in applying them. Taken a step further, the more time you spend utilizing your strengths during the workday, the more you

enjoy your work. The more you enjoy your work, the more engaged you tend to be. The more engaged you are, the more productive you are. The more productive you are, the more valuable you are to your team and your organization. It’s a powerful progression don’t you think?

Soli Deo Gloria

As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” 1 Peter 4:10

Keith Hughey

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Transforming Potential into Unmatched Performance
Copyright 2022 by J. Keith Hughey. All rights reserved. Permission is hereby granted for reproduction and redistribution of this essay as provided under the copyright laws of the United States of America. The entire early library of Monday Morning Musings issues may be found at Your comments are welcome and encouraged.

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