Sunday, December 8, 2013

Unintended consequences

At the blog Leadership is a Verb, author John Bishop wrote about unintended consequences and asked the following: “What “no brainer” decisions have you reversed once you learned the unintended consequences?

You can’t reverse unintended consequences until you accept that the result indeed had unintended consequences and that those consequences were causing even more problems.

I’ll bet almost every unintended consequence you had to fix is something you tried to call the decision makers attention to BEFORE the idea was implemented and no one would listen. Then the job of fixing fell to you simply because the decision maker couldn’t be bothered to fix it.

The only way to stop, fix or prevent unintended consequences from happening next time is for management (in the form of the decision makers) to include on their team at least one person who is known as a boat rocker. All managers need that someone standing beside them on their chariot of leadership whispering in your ear “thou art mortal”.

Just in case you didn’t get the chariot allusion, here is the reference from Wikipedia:

“Popular belief says the phrase originated in ancient Rome: as a Roman general was parading through the streets during a victory triumph, standing behind him was his slave, tasked with reminding the general that, although at his peak today, tomorrow he could fall, or — more likely — be brought down. The servant is thought to have conveyed this with the warning, "Memento mori" (Remember thou art mortal).
It is further possible that the servant may have instead advised, "Respice post te! Hominem te esse memento! Memento mori!": "Look behind you! Remember that you are a man! Remember that you'll die!".

Oh, wait there is just one more little thing – you also have to listen to the boat rocket and include their warnings in your plans!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

What makes your dog your hero?

My dog is my hero without doing any of the things that most people would think of as heroic. All he did was be a dog. Like all dogs, he delivered unconditional love at a time when I felt very unlovable.

Why I felt unlovable really doesn’t matter. In fact it didn’t matter to Nanuq either. All he cared about was that he was with me and that walks and meals were more or less on time!

Just by needing my care and attention, somebody had to let him out to do his business, someone had to get the food into his food bowl and put down fresh water. He can’t do it for himself – no thumbs!

I couldn’t indulge myself in self-pity while he needed to be cared for. And as you can see from the picture, it’s hard to be sad when faced by that smile!

Every day he just keep being himself. Interested in every new smell and demanding long walks (at least longer than I wanted) to explore the new place we found ourselves living. He helped force me beyond my comfort zone and by just expecting me to take care of him taught me that my limits were not real, only self-imposed false limitations.

When he wakes me up at 2 AM barking at the thunder and I can’t go back to sleep I have to get out of myself and love him because his barking is just his fear of that strange noise. All he needs is my reassurance that he is safe and protected.

In reassuring him and protecting him I reassured and protected myself. Without his unconditional love I would have taken much longer to heal.

Beside, any dog that will do things like this will always cheer me up!

This was picked up and reposted by (DOG)spired and you can read the rest of their online magazine at (DOG)spired