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

December 5, 2011

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When it comes to your health, danger could be lurking, and you wouldn’t necessarily know it.

Very rarely do traumatic events just come unexpectedly, occurring 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 are not right.

I’m not encouraging you to become a hypochondriac or excessive worrier.  Often, 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 is 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, but it is 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 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 am working hard to grow my adaptive capacity and notice early warning signs so that I can effectively manage whatever comes my way.  I encourage you to do the same.

Do not ignore danger signs with your body, your relationships, or your work.  If something doesn’t feel right, then have it checked out or make it the topic of thoughtful analysis and conversation.    Dealing with adversity or unwelcome news as soon as possible highly increases your likelihood of a successful resolution. Moreover, 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.