Turbo Leadership Systems

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Issue 63 To our clients and friends October 25, 2005
You Can Change Your Habits
Larry W. Dennis, Sr.
Turbo Leadership

Ignoring your blind spot is just denial.

Suzy, administrative assistant for a wood products manufacturer in southern Oregon, told Session 7B of the Leadership Development Lab:

"As I was driving to work a few days ago, I noticed a car pulling out onto South 61st Street, out of the Albertson’s parking lot. The car was headed straight towards me. I assumed the driver was going to stay in the middle lane until I passed, but I was wrong. Instead, she pulled right over in front of me. I swerved to miss her but she almost caused an accident with me and a third car. Of course, I was shocked and half scared out of my wits. In the past my first reaction would have been to honk my horn, use a very familiar hand gesture or both. Instead I remained calm, decided to control my temper and just let it pass. I pulled over, got into the left lane and continued until I came to the signal light at the next intersection. She pulled up next to me at the red light. I looked over at her and she looked at me with a little wave and facial expression that said, “I am so sorry,” acknowledging how wrong what she had done was. I waved back that it was O.K. and we both went on our way. I must say I felt a whole lot better about myself and how I handled this situation than I would have if I had taken what had become for me a very natural, justifiable response of losing my

temper. In the past, when I have acted out, it has often negatively affected the rest of my entire day.

The lesson I learned from this experience is that sometimes I get caught in a driver’s blind spot where I act in ways that are completely out of character with who I am and who I want to be. I learned that I can change, I can take charge of my response, I can and am breaking old ingrained habits. The action I call you to take is to remain in control of your emotions and actions in all situations. Never let anything become your excuse for getting out of control. Don’t resort to the childish behavior of honking or gesturing to cause a scene. The benefit you will gain is less stress, better driving manners, and you will always be seen as a professional. Most important of all, you will feel better about yourself."

"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation . . .
Excellence . . . is not an act but a habit."

- Aristotle


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