August 6, 2010

Think Twice, Click Once (Leading From Within, by Sid Kemp)

This morning, I received an email from my executive assistant. It said, “I thought of that right after I sent the message.” In this case, she had suggested an idea that was not in line with our plans, and I said “no,” and told her why not. She ended her message with, “lesson learned: don’t send emails when I’m tired.”
That’s a good lesson. And we can take it deeper, because a lot of people send emails that aren’t on target (to put it politely) during the day, too. How about taking the old saw from builders, “measure twice, cut once,” and apply it to the Information Age: “Think twice, click once.”
I know of a number of horror stories – including some that did serious damage to careers and opened the door to lawsuits - that resulted from someone sending something out without thinking twice.
And its not just email or texting. What about our words? There’s an ancient Chinese maxim that I’ve turned into a practice. “Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary?” What if we listen to what we’re about to say before we open our mouths, and ask all three questions about what we’re thinking. We can revise our ideas or our choice of words, and then what we say will be much less distressing and much more effective.
And sometimes, checking twice isn’t enough. When human systems run out of control, we end up taking great risks unnecessarily. The destruction of the Space Shuttle Challenger and the BP Gulf Oil Spill are both examples of this. The rule in the design of the Space Shuttle was that three different things must fail before catastrophic damage will occur. And even so, we’ve lost two shuttles and their crews. In addition to triple-checking, we need to fix systems that are running out of control.
To err is human. But, as humans, we can be aware, and catch our errors and correct them before they go too far. There’s a great movie, The Dish, that shows how everyone can make mistakes, but, as a team, still do amazing things – like go to the moon.
One way to be a leader is to accept and correct our own mistakes, and lead by example, giving others a chance to make mistakes, and also to correct them and contribute to success.

To keep up to date with our news, new articles and current events connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, and our E-Newsletter.
For information about Enough is Enough Anti Violence Movement visit:

No comments:

Post a Comment