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Flashing lights, beeping noises and error codes

I remember the day as a 5th grade student when my next-door neighbor told me his parents just bought this new thing called a microwave! We quickly discovered that we were now fully capable of making our own hotdogs as an after school snack. Life would never be the same.

His family was on the cutting edge of technology in the 80’s. They served as my introduction to things like microwaves, VHS players and the first Nintendo system. My how the world has changed.

With each new device that was introduced into my world a new set of problem solving skills were developed. When these devices worked they brought a new sense of independence. When they didn’t work; with flashing lights, beeping noises and error codes we found ourselves in uncharted territory. There was no Internet we could access on our phones to look up a tech thread on specific error codes. We were on our own and more often than not the adults in our lives turned to us to figure out how to solve these new problems.

When faced with this challenge we utilized a highly intellectual solution, an idea way before it’s time and it seemed to be a very reliable solution. When the microwave, or VHS player, or Nintendo system was not functioning we worked our magic fixing it with the following technique: unplug it, wait a while and plug it back in. Amazing. It always worked.

As we enter into a busy holiday season let me remind you that this applies to you as well. As leaders we spend so much time taking care of others. We often forget that we have needs as well.

In the coming weeks be aware of your own personal flashing lights, beeping noises and error codes. And when that happens, find some space, unplug, wait a while and plug back in again. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you are back to a fully functioning state.

Unplug and wait…. Happy holidays.