Improvising: Sir Cough-a-Lot to the Rescue

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to stimulate your ability to more creatively use your existing resources.

Heart Patient Squeezing his Cough Buddy teddy bear

          Put your hands lightly on your stomach and cough. Did you feel how the muscles in your stomach contracted and pulled when you coughed?

Former heart patients raise their Sir Cough A Lot teddy bears during a reunion

       Now imagine your stomach as if it were a blanket full of stitches. Oh, the pain, especially when you  had to force yourself to cough up the festering poison in your stomach called phlegm, each cough resonating as if you had virtually pulled on that blanket of skin.

       Now put your hand on your stomach and press it and cough. You don’t feel as much pain. That’s why heart patients often squeeze a pillow on their stomachs to ease the necessary but painful experience  of coughing after open heart surgery. The coughing experience is so painful that many heart patients would regularly “forget” to cough up their phlegm or cough it up only perfunctorily without earning the full health  benefit.

     Sir Cough-a-Lot to the rescue.

     Sir Cough a Lot is an example of a critically important leadership skill: improvising, turning the ordinary into the extra- ordinary with no additional resources.

                  Nurses in heart rehab units around the country saw a leadership opportunity, especially when they noticed how many grandchildren visited their heart patients after heart surgery.

Leaders Make Something You Knew New

             They improvised a teddy bear to serve as a pillow and introduced the teddy bear as a new “roommate” that would be a visible reminder of the need for their patient to give the teddy bear a squeeze every so often. And of course Sir Cough a Lot caught the attention of the visiting grandchildren and served as a conversation starter for the patient and his family.

             Sir Cough a Lot is an example of making something you knew new.

Today’s ImproveMINT
Improvise to keep your leadership thinking in mint condition.

You might also like these previous Leadership Mints on Creativity and Improvising
Wiggle Room of Another Kind

Barking Up An Innovation Tree

5 Ways to Ride the Rodeo of Creativity

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