First, Get the Cow Out of the Ditch Dealing with Crisis
If you own a cow and it’s stuck in a ditch, your first order of business should be to get the cow out of the ditch. Before milking it, feeding it, or caring for it, get it out of the ditch.
As a leader, what crisis is going on that you must tend to now? What stops us sometimes from acting is hesitation, fear, or confusion. I want to share with you some thoughts in this article on how to resolve these “cow in the ditch” situations.
Many times as leaders, we have a real crisis on our hands, but we ignore it and tend to something else. We do that because it may be painful to deal with the difficult situation, or we might be too afraid, too drained physically or emotionally, or maybe we feel too busy to get to it.
In our farming example, the longer the cow is in the ditch, the more likely it is that it will experience long term injury or death. Similarly, when we ignore difficult crises, real injury or catastrophe is usually imminent.
What is it that you must tend to now?
Sometimes it is a difficult decision we are avoiding, or a situation that is difficult to face because all options seem like bad ones. Here is one of the guides I often follow: Choose the best decision, to the best of your ability, and make it happen.
One of the most simple yet profound quotes from President Franklin D. Roosevelt who faced many crises in his presidency is, “Above all try something.” Really? Just something? Anything? I believe the President was trying to communicate that when things are unclear, do not sit idle contemplating the options. Do something. Try something. Even in the face of lack of clarity. Here is the full quote from President Roosevelt: “It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.”
Let’s go back to the “cow in the ditch” in your life or leadership. I want to encourage you today to face it head on, give it priority, and get it out of the ditch. Not sure how? Simply try something.
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