Something tells me you thought I meant a different Scotch than the one I learned from. “Scotch” is my collie and today he and I wnt for our usual five mile walk. Well, scratch that, I went for five after putting “Scotch” in the house after mile 2, which is about as far as he’ll make it in this heat, before he lays down and says “Mom, I’m just done!”
So, on our walk, I learned something from Scotch. We were on a road next to a field where there are several gopher turtle beds. These are protected little turtles and seemingly inocuous and innocent creatures (though I have noticed how fast they move when they see Scotch coming to play!) One was out of his burrow and right next to the road and Scotch about went bonkers. This is an 80 pound dog who doesn’t know his own strength and he bounds over to the turtle to sniff it out. I am hoping he isn’t going to pick it up and hand to me to play fetch like he does nearly everything else. Instead for about five minutes, I let him investigate. His hair is up on the back of his neck, he’s ready to pounce or play and jumps every time the turtle moves a muscle. But, here’s where the lesson came. After his complete and undivided attention to the turtle, assessing it’s threat status, he then seems to say “Hmm. No big deal.” and then prances off so that we could continue our walk. Mind you this was on mile 1, so on mile 2, I walked him by the very same spot and he sniffed (the turtle having made a completely clean get a way) for a moment and moved on.
What if we did this every time there was something new or a perceived threat? What if we as Contagious Leaders could help those we lead adopt this same kind of philosophy? Instead we talk about it, share our fears with others, make the story grow in the form of gossip and give it all of our attention for days. How much are we missing if we look at whatever the percieved threat is, assess it as nothing, but keep looking back at it and coming back to that spot just to make doubly sure? Wouldn’t it be better if we moved on with our eyes forward looking for either the next threat or maybe even the next opportunity?
I don’t think I”ll sign up Scotch to teach any advanced level Leadership classes, but I am curious what he’ll teach me tomorrow. 🙂
Monica Wofford, MBA, CSP, is an international speaker, trainer, and author who helps managers who were promoted, actually become prepared to lead.