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I Got Screwed – A Leadership Seminar

Wednesday, August 5, 2020 - Joe Kiedinger

Blinded by my excitement last week, I missed some important signals. I saw an opportunity I could not pass up. At a small, roadside business I saw a 1992 and a 1995 jet ski for sale, including a trailer, for a steal! I could just picture my daughters’ joy as they would ride around on the water near our cabin.

When we got the jet skis out on the water we discovered one was sinking. It was full of water within the first minute! I called the business owner—whose side hustle was refurbishing old jet skis—and he had me bring it by his shop for repair. The next weekend, the very same thing happened! I brought it in again and was greeted by a much rougher response from this owner. He tried to push the blame off to me, saying our rope had gotten caught up and caused the problem—oddly the rope was yellow and ours is white.

Regardless, after a third conversation with this now very gruff man, I realized it just wasn’t worth it. It wasn’t worth one more second harboring anger or debating this guy. I had failed to see something. My wife, Danica, asked me if I hadn’t noticed that he was a bit hot-headed during our very first conversation and it raised some flags in her mind, immediately. I was too blinded by the excitement of owning jet skis to see the full picture.

To avoid the $300 disposal fee, I chose to leave the jet ski with this man and walk away. In the end, I was out $800 for the trashed ’92 and chose to view it as a seminar cost on leadership. Lesson learned; it’s on me. I will be better at listening to people’s stories next time. Positive stories = trust. Negative stories = walk away because trouble is a brewing.

JOE KIEDINGER

ACTION PLAN: What stories are you hearing in your company? Listen for the positive and negative stories to help lead your decision making. Want to go even further? Learn to refine your decision making skills with an Organizational Health journey.

Sometimes, all it takes is a little inspiration.

Understanding where others are coming from is critical in communicating and working toward a common cause.