Today I hit a patch of heavy ice and drove my car into a ditch. My trip was going just fine as I came upon a slight incline. My plan was to go between 20-30 mph and the momentum would carry me right over the hill. However, the car in front of me was far more “cautious” and was only climbing at a rate of about 5 mph. As I waited and waited for this vehicle to move on, it was if a giant suction cup literally pulled my car off the side of the road into the ditch. In case you’re asking, no that is not my car in the picture!
Shortly thereafter, about six Good Samaritans drove by with chains and pulled me out of the ditch. In the midst of the worst Georgia ice storm in over a decade, I learned several important leadership lessons:
- Being fearful can be just as dangerous as being reckless. I am very concerned about how many organizations (particularly churches) put their people in a ditch because they are fearful of moving forward. “We’re waiting on the right time” or “We’ll move forward ‘when the economy gets better'” paralyzes organizations (especially churches).
- You wind up in a ditch when you have no momentum or forward movement.
- We all wind up in a ditch sooner or later. Everyone goes through a period of life when calamity strikes.
- We can’t get out of ditches by ourselves. We will all need help.
- When you’re in a ditch and in trouble, you don’t care what the person’s age, personality, religious background, or natural origin is. You just want someone who can help you.
- There are still many very nice and wonderful people in the world.
- 4-wheel drive is better than front-wheel drive.
- Always prepare for the journey. My wife instinctively and proactively packed bottled water, extra clothes, and a sleeping bag “just in case”. I didn’t need them but it was nice to have just in case.
- You need a team of people to solve big problems.
- Approximately a dozen cars drove by as my vehicle was being pulled out – all driven by men. Just an observation.
If my personal history is any indication, I’m sure I’ll wind up in another ditch tomorrow. I just hope it’s not because of ice. Can any of you relate?
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