Pebble in your shoe

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Anthony Pica
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Pebble in your shoe

Pebble in your shoe

The cool breeze kissed the back of my neck as I straightened up the yard. "A relaxing Fall weekend," I thought—until I noticed damage near the basement doors.

It was yet another issue I needed to fix around the house. But this repair was different because the damage was caused by water. It was urgent. As much as I didn't feel like dealing with it, I knew the problem would become more costly to fix every time it rained.

When was the last time you encountered a problem you didn't want to face? Maybe it spurred anxiety. Perhaps it seemed minor and not worth thinking about. Or maybe you were uncertain of how to tackle the problem.

Now think about the people on your team. What kind of problems could your team be facing that they're not sharing with you?

Anyone on your team, at any point, could be wrestling with an issue and not speaking up.

As leaders, it's our responsibility to attack challenges head-on, early-on. We check in with people and ask:

  • How can I support you?
  • What's keeping you up at night?
  • Is there a situation you'd like my input on?

When they're left unresolved, problems tend to grow over time and spread throughout the organization. Then they become more complex and costlier to fix. Therefore, it's smart to deal with things early on—just like the water damage near my basement doors.

Keep in mind: If you have a pebble in your shoe, it just feels like a pebble at first. But after you get to the end of the road, it feels like a boulder.

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