I wear a headset when I drive. It allows me to talk on the phone hands free.
In Chicago yesterday, I was passing through a toll gate and took the headset out of my ear to talk to the toll attendant. After paying the toll, I began on my way and realized that the tip of my earplug had come off and was stuck in my ear.
I tried to dislodge the earpiece with my finger and it wasn’t coming free. I was looking around in the car and saw my pen. I was thinking about taking the pen, sticking it in my ear and prying the earpiece out. In traffic in Chicago. While I was driving.
And, it occurred to me…that wouldn’t be very safe.
I drove to the next exit. Unpacked my suitcase. Retrieved tweezers and safely removed it.
Isn’t that how accidents happen? A situation occurs. You desire to remedy it immediately. To do it properly, you will need to stop and you don’t want to delay progress. You will need to get the best tool to get the job done but the tool isn’t convenient.
So, you improvise. You adjust. You take the wrong tool and try to pry it out in traffic. And, every once in awhile, something bad happens.
I was a little slow on the uptake but I did the right thing. How about you?
Will you be alert enough to recognize the elements of an accident forming?
Will you tolerate the inconvenience of stopping to get it right the first time the safe way?
Many times the improvisations come and we escape the unpleasant results. We are just lucky. The bad ones come back to haunt us. It changes lives.
PalletOne CEO Howe Wallace
Since 2005, he has been sharing his thoughts on the organization, leadership, and communication in an online daily note to teammates called Daily with HQ.