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Leadership Thought #256 – Don’t Ignore The Danger Signs


Very rarely do traumatic events just come out of the blue for no reason.  Usually there have been some lingering symptoms that tried to get your attention, but you were too busy, distracted, or just didn’t want to address the issue.  The problem is that avoidance never works and at some point you will have to deal with the consequences of your inaction.  Sadly, many people ignore important health signs and end up with a much worse outcome as a result.   Your body just like your business is always trying to communicate with you and let you know when things aren’t quite right.

I’m not encouraging you to become a hypochondriac or excessive worrier.  More often than not a headache is just a headache.  What you need to pay attention to are the patterns and symptoms that regularly reappear or get gradually worse.   It’s not normal for a body or organization to be in a constant state of pain, stress or upheaval.  You should see most things coming and get a genuine sense of when something is not right.  My personal belief is that most people are afraid of getting bad news so like an ostrich they “stick their head in the sand” and hope whatever it is just goes away.  Confronting reality can be hard at times, but it’s essential if you are going to live a proactive and self-determined life.

We have all heard the saying countless times that “it’s not what happens to you in life, it’s how you react to it that matters.”   In my experience this is absolutely true.  There are times when I have had the illusion of control but then something comes along and shifts my view of reality and/or catches me off guard.   I’m working hard to grow my adaptive capacity and pick up on early warning signs so that I can effectively manage whatever comes my way.  I encourage you to do the same.

Don’t ignore danger signs with your body, your relationships or your work.  If something doesn’t feel right have it checked out or make it the topic of thoughtful analysis and conversation.    Dealing with adversity or bad news as soon as possible, highly increases your likelihood of a successful resolution. And, as the saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”   The more you do the little things right including embracing the fundamentals properly, undergoing regular check-ups and performing routine audits, the less likely you will be surprised by a shift in your reality.

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