I spent yesterday afternoon waiting for the Safelite truck to replace the cracked windshield on Dottie’s car. I had spent the last 3-4 years ignoring the chip which became the crack. Replacing the windshield cost $365. Fixing the chip would have cost less than $100. Proof that Benjamin Franklin was right: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
There are hundreds of examples. What happens when you delay changing the oil too long, or don’t change the filters on your HVAC, or let five pounds at Christmas grow to ten by New Year’s, or…well…you get the idea.
As leaders, we usually learn the hard way that problems don’t go away on their own. They may go underground and out of sight for a while, but eventually they reemerge—often at the worst possible time (we were in Florida when the chip became a crack). And it always costs more and takes longer to fix a crack than a chip. In fact, you can’t repair a crack, you have to replace the entire windshield.
Often ignored chips are frayed-and-getting-worse relationships, declining sales or attendance, or key people leaving for greener pastures. Let these go unattended for a while—hoping things will get better—and you’re sure to have a replacement—not repair—on your hands. There’s a chance you may be the one replaced.
What chip are you ignoring, hoping it won’t get worse? In your personal life? Family? Organization? Today would be a good day to begin to repair it. If you delay…
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ãCopyright 2019 by Dick Wells, The Hard Lessons Company
"The best way to lead people into the future is to connect with them deeply in the present."
Kouzes & Posner