Any Elephants?

I know that by the time you read this you will have followed my suggestion in the last post, Take A Break… Since you are now fully recharged and ready to scale new heights, it’s time to do that thing you keep putting off: elephant hunting.

I’ve been hearing about and thinking a lot about those elephants so many executives are being trampled by these days. Some of it is undoubtedly due to the economic climate and the great uncertainty that all businesses face as we carefully watch what’s happening locally, nationally, and internationally. The world is so connected that any disruptions anywhere seem to show up on our balance sheets before too long.

But there is an even bigger reason these elephants continue to wander around the office getting in the way of optimum performance: fear. Most of us have a great fear of facing the most difficult issues that hide in the shadows, people issues often being the most prominent one. And if you happen to be a family business, the elephant is even bigger.

The problem with ignoring these issues is that they don’t go away. They don’t solve themselves. They continue wandering around leaving piles of smelly problems everywhere they go. They contaminate your company and breed disease throughout the organization.

Yet fear of what might happen if the elephant is killed is so strong that it keeps manager from cleaning up the mess even though they step in it often.

Light is the best disinfectant. Light means open and honest discussion about the elephants in the room. Open and honest discussion leads to your banishing the elephants…forever. It’s painful at the time, but when the elephant is gone your relief will be unbelievable. And so with that of everyone else in your organization.

And when the elephants are gone, so is the smell.

I decided to write about this today because I happened to see an article my friend and business associate Rip Tilden recently published in the Philadelphia Business Journal, “Guest Comment: The elephant in the room”, He did a masterful job of sharing a few real life client stories of driving the elephants away.

Re-read what I say above, read Rip’s thoughts, then gather your gear and your nerve and go off and hunt down a few elephants that are keeping you from scaling the heights you know lie just in front of you.

And if you want to talk more about elephants, reach out, and I’ll join you on safari.

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