This is a guest post from my friend, Brian K. Dodd.
A Dog Story
On Monday, November 22nd in the town of Blackroot Pool, West Midlands of the United Kingdom, an 11-year-old Jack Russell terrier named Freddy got off his leash and began chasing a rabbit. As a former owner of a Jack Russell, I know from personal experience how determined these terriers can get.
Freddy ultimately chased the rabbit down a literal rabbit hole. In fact, he went so far down the hole he got stuck approximately 9 feet below ground. The pet’s owner Richard Hill could hear the dog whimpering but could not reach him. Once darkness fell, Hill gave up hope of rescuing the animal and stopped his efforts.
The next morning he returned to the location and to his surprise, still heard Freddy’s cries for help. It was at this point he called the West Midland Fire and Rescue Service.
A Daring Rescue
Utilizing a What3Word app, rescuers identified the dog’s general location. They then used cameras and listening gear to pinpoint Freddy’s whereabouts even further. Finally, they used equipment normally designed for earthquakes and building collapses to dig a 6-feet by 9-feet trench.
After working for two hours, Freddy was able to sprint out of the hole and into his owner’s arms. Hill then said, “I have to say a huge ‘thank you’ to the firefighters. They were just unbelievable… It was just incredible when he ran out of the hole after the rescue, it was just like nothing had happened.”
While this is a heartwarming story, there is a definite warning here for leaders.
First, we as leaders can also chase the wrong things.
We all have rabbits in our lives. Our attention can be diverted from what should be primary to secondary issues. This may be the crazy idea no one supports which will yield little to no return. Perhaps it is an unwise investment. Often, ADD or “shiny object syndrome” can overtake us.
Next, this reckless use of time and resources can cause us to get stuck as well.
Our behavior may result in our calendar or finances being tied up and not allowing us to take advantage of much more worthwhile opportunities which may arise.
Momentum will be lost.
Morale is lowered.
Trust in the leader suffers.
And finally, unlike Richard Hill, we will not be afforded the opportunity to call emergency services to help us out. We will be trapped and must suffer the consequences of our decisions and actions. Worst of all, so will all of those who are on our team and are the unfortunate recipients of our ill-advised escapade.
Leaders, be careful what you chase.
It may be wise to stay on the leash. You could get stuck in a hole you can’t get out of.
Thank you for reading this post. We would love to hear from you. Your comments are solicited and priceless to our development.
Brian K. Dodd is a writer and author. Brian’s desire is to add value to leaders and provide perspective, encouragement, and solutions to the issues they face daily. You can find Brian at https://briandoddonleadership.com/. Brian is also an avid Twitter and LinkedIn contributor.
This post first appeared here.