Tuesday, June 02, 2009

dealing with problems

Yesterday I had to deal with a problem. I had a leak in the main water line to my house. That leak reminded me of a very important leadership lesson: ALWAYS DEAL WITH PROBLEMS.

Unfortunately, I violated that principle. You see, I knew that I had a potential leak about a month ago. One day while mowing my lawn, I noticed that there was a soft spot in my yard that was a little damp. My initial thought was, "maybe there is a water leak underground somewhere", but I didn't do anything. I chalked it up to, it has been a little rainy lately.

Each time I cut my grass since then, it has been kind of soft and soggy, but I convinced myself, that if it were a leak that there would be a lot more water, so I did nothing. Yesterday evening, my wife turned on the kitchen sink faucet and it kind of sputtered. I knew immediately that I definitely had a leak, so I walked to the soft spot in the yard and dug down and sure enough I found a connection in the pipe that was leaking a bit, so I drove to Lowes and bought the materials and got ready to fix it, but didn't have the tool to shut off the water at the street, so it still isn't fixed. (Fortunately it is barely leaking, so I still have water)

But the reality is that I could have saved a lot of hassle if I would have dealt with the problem as soon as I realized I had a problem. Instead, I had to deal with problem, on it's terms.

Here's what I tell our staff about problems:

* Always deal with problems: immediately, lovingly, firmly

* Problems never take care of themselves

* Problems always get worse with time

* Confrontation is one of the greatest expressions of love

* Problems are just part of life -- don't run from them

What problem do you need to deal with? What person/situation do you need to confront, that you've been procrastinating about?

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