It was a warm spring afternoon and I was in a hurry. Frazzled after fighting the Friday Atlanta rush hour traffic and rushing to my parents house for the weekend.
I knew my mom had dinner waiting. Our kids were being noisy. And my wife, as I recall, was asleep.
As we exited I-75, my oldest who was about 8 years old, commented for about the fourth time, "I am car sick."
I remember saying, "You'll be okay."
She said, "I feel like I am going to throw up."
What came out of my mouth next was possibly the dumbest thing I have ever said. The circumstances, the frustration, the traffic, the kids, the stupidity . . . "Well, then just throw up," I said.
What came out of her mouth next . . . Let's just say it wasn't words. Thank God for Walmart sacks!
I learned a valuable leadership lesson that day.
As the driver it is not my job to conquer the trip. It is my job to get everyone to the destination still wanting to be in my family.
How are you "driving" your organization lately? Are the people who are following you being jerked around in the back seat? Are they a bit nauseous from your lack of attentiveness to their needs? Do they wish someone else was driving?
You cannot afford to ignore the others in the car. Those people on your team who are in the trenches. The ones who execute the strategy and pave the way for the vision to be accomplished.
If you have taken your eye off of the back seat, you are making a mistake.
Reengage before it is too late. And whatever you do, don't say anything stupid.
I can tell you from experience it won't be pretty and you might even wake someone up.
Can you think of ways that leaders lose sight of the needs of team members?