The Problem of Potential Problems

Leadership Freak

Warning switch

Alarmists are irritating. They push the panic button at the first hint of smoke. They see what might go wrong and yell fire. While you’re dealing with «real» issues, they’re dealing with things that might happen.

Reject the temptation to ignore “alarmists.” All problems were potential once. The land of leadership is the land of not yet and could be. That includes potential problems. Leaders consumed with current issues aren’t leading.

Four inadequate responses to “alarmists:”

  1. Agree. Issues are often over or misstated.
  2. Answer. Don’t give answers. Your answer suggests more potential problems to an alarmist.
  3. Minimize. Alarmists become more alarmed if you don’t make them feel heard.
  4. Ignore. Bury your head in the sand and you’ll get kicked in the butt.

One crucial concern:

Consider the source. Don’t waste your time with disengaged spectators. Ignore them politely. The future is never built by fixing issues from complainers on the…

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