They know they are coming down with something, but they don’t share the potential problem with anybody. They think they will overcome it soon. In reality, their conditions worsen and they cancel the plan a day before the event. Because they keep the problem to themselves until the last minute, when it spirals out of their control, everybody ends up running around like chickens with their heads cut off.
I used to make that kind of mistakes when I was young. Then, one day, one of my managers in Japan gave me a piece of advice.
Honestly, it was one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received. I was amazed to see how easily we can defuse situations before they escalate into real problems.
About 10 years ago, I held a position as a Toastmasters club officer with the expectation of becoming President. It was during that time that I realized my visa could become an issue. I might need to leave the U.S. The chance was 50-50. If I did, there were various unknown factors, including finances and locations. The potential problem could be huge. Perhaps it would be easier for everybody if I resigned? I promptly consulted with Lisa Lockhart, who was the President at that time. The wise woman did not keep the problem to herself but shared it with past Presidents. We often say, “Four eyes can see more than two.” In our case, we had sixteen eyes. We made strategic plans and examined every possible flaw. We developed backup plans for backup plans. When the time came for me to leave the country, our potential problem was long gone.
I became a virtual Vice President of Education and, eventually, President. This all took place long before Zoom became our new normal. Yep, I consider us pioneers! My “exile” lasted longer than anticipated, but despite the challenges, our plan led us to a successful year.
“Sharing” makes the huge difference.