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Reacting to Tigers

Last week, a raccoon climbed 25 stories up the side of the UBS Plaza building in St. Paul, Minnesota, and the internet blew a gasket. The event got major news coverage. People were live-streaming the raccoon so the rest of the world could be on constant watch. This raccoon will never know the number of fans who were cheering it on. One tweet I saw said: “OMG I can’t sleep, I’m so worried about #MPRracoon. Don’t jump buddy!”

To put it in perspective, hundreds of thousands (millions?) of raccoons get into mischief each day, and some lose their lives. Why the uproar over this one?

As humans, we are very good at focusing on a single source of stimuli, and taking action on it. Perhaps this comes from an “I see a tiger… RUN” evolutionary perspective. Seeing someone running from a tiger makes a group of us feel that it might be good to be somewhere else ourselves. And quickly.

Where humans fall short is how we react to things that happen slowly over time. Or that will happen at a set point in the future. Eating right. Spending less time with devices. Planning for retirement. Taking care of the environment. Unless there is a proverbial tiger in front of us, we don’t run. We respond to the roar of other tigers that are more pressing.

There are things coming up in your organization that need thinking about. You likely know what these things are. For some, it’s “Who is going to take over when you decide to move on?” or “What will the organization look like in 50 years?” Perhaps it’s “What path do I need to take to diversify my staff, board, and audience? or “How would we react and respond to a major emergency?”

The way you plan for long-term is to allocate time to consider the journey in short-term chunks.

This week’s Mission:

1. Identify what is not considered that you know needs to be. 2. Reach out to someone who needs to be in this discussion, and set a date to begin a talk. Put it in your calendar and set yourself to “busy.” From that meeting, decide on a next meeting date.

Start the journey, add accountability with someone who will journey with you, and march.

I’d love to hear what is most important to you. Drop me a note and let me know.




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I'm Ron Evans. I dramatically improve individual and organizational performance. If you found today's topic intriguing and want to apply it to your situation, I'll brainstorm with you. The few who follow through and take me up on my offer will benefit greatly. Strike while the iron is hot! 


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