Last Monday, I was on vacation with my wife, Barb in Pittsburgh, PA. We were visiting our daughters who go to college back there. In the middle of sipping on a blueberry-pomegranate smoothie at a McDonald’s, I got a phone call from the young man who was watching our dogs. He informed me that during his walk with both of them, Captain Jack had wriggled out of his harness and was footloose and fancy free (my words, not his). He explained this calmly to me as he was walking Bella with one hand, on the phone with me on the other hand, and keeping an eye on the fugitive dog. He said, “I’m keeping an eye on him. I don’t want to run after him because he will think it’s a game. Do you have any suggestions?” I gave him a few. He then proceeded to tie Bella to a post (I think she would have just said to let Jack go), hung up with me, and chased after the dog. Within 5 minutes, he called me back to advise that he had apprehended Captain Jack, and was taking them back home.
I was impressed. This 20-year old, under the duress of losing a dog he was charged with, had the calmness and presence of mind to not just run after the dog (a practice I unfortunately have); call me and get information to help him; tie up the other dog and keep her safe; and quickly re-claim the wayward canine. He did it all within a few minutes.
My young friend is a great example of keeping cool in crisis. How do you respond to stress and anxiety? Do you remain cool, calm, and collected? Can you keep your composure and display leadership amid turmoil?
This week’s quote – “Every man is born as many men and dies as a single one.”
– Martin Heidegger
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