When in Doubt, Call a Time-Out

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to help you problem solve when time is running out. Reading time: 1:58.

       The game is on the line. The clock is ticking down like a time bomb. You’re frenzied, fazed and fried. You’re the team leader. You’ve got the ball in your hands.

Football coach calls a Time-Out with the “T” sign.

         It’s all up to you but suddenly you are frozen in frustration. Unable to think, unable to move. Paralyzed in your performance. Supersized in your fear. What do you do?

      Call a Time-Out.

       That’s what they do in sports. Can that tactic work in business too?

       Let’s consider a very disciplined business –the military — where rules rule 24/7.

       It’s 1832 when a lanky lad of 23 is marching his soldiers as a newly promoted captain in the United States militia during the Black Hawk War. His troops are marching 20 abreast when they come upon a narrow gate.

      Uh-Oh! The captain forgot the command to move his men into single file so they could pass through the gate. Now what?

       Abraham Lincoln called a Time- Out and then resumed the march on the other side of the gate. Yes the same Abraham Lincoln who would become president of the United States 29 years later exercised his poise under pressure and taught us all a critical leadership lesson: When in doubt take a time-out.

Before Time Runs Out Call a Time-Out

        Likewise when you’re frustrated the way a problem is unfolding before your eyes, step back and take a Time-Out. Go for a walk. Find a restroom. Take a seat in your Oval Office even if nature is not calling you at the time. Get away from the action. When in doubt, call a Time-out before time runs out on your ticking bomb.

Today’s ImproveMINT

Call a time out in troubled situations to keep your leadership thinking in mint condition.

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