Give the experts breathing room.

15 08 2016

“My boy, one small breeze doesn’t make a wind storm.” ~ John McGraw

When we get wind of an issue that may or may not be a crisis, our first instinct, especially with worriers like me, is to assume the worst.  My internal alarms start going off, and I start stringing unrelated symptoms together, and see a train wreck coming based on one small data point.  This worrying trait is sometimes very helpful as a COO, as WHEN it is really a big deal, I’ve already planned out what the plan B and plan C is to deal with a crisis, and can do so calmly, with the worrying behind me!

HOWEVER, it’s taken years for me to learn to trust those who know more, and to back off to allow them to gather ALL of the data before springing to premature action.  Standing over someone’s shoulder while they are troubleshooting something I don’t understand helps nobody.  I used to paint boats evenings, weekends, and summers while in High School and in College.  There were often anxious boat owners standing around watching me work.  My boss would tap them on the shoulder and say “you can either go away, or we can – you standing over us asking questions isn’t going to get the job done quicker or better.”  It took me many years to internalize that wisdom, but it’s locked in now.

Speaking of a breeze…


Rubes cartoons used with permission.




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