Harold, Operations Manager for a crushing, screening, conveying and recycling company based in Woodland, WA told Session 3 of the Leadership Development Lab:
"I was raised on a dairy farm and loved to drive and operate equipment. One day, when I was about 17 years old, my father and I were going to transport cattle from our dairy to the Portland stock yard. I helped as always to load eight head of cows into the truck, about the size of a U-Haul. Before leaving, I begged my dad to let me drive the truck down to the market. My dad reluctantly agreed.
"And so, the story begins! I finally got to drive the loaded truck to the market. Driving through side streets, all went well for the first part of the trip. As we pulled onto the I-5 freeway, I checked my mirrors from side to side and noticed someone pointing at the truck. Seeing it was a couple of cute girls, I of course, was staring at them not the road in front of me, and then I noticed that they suddenly slowed down. At that moment, I turned around and looked forward; the traffic had stopped in front of me. Panicking, I slammed on the brakes. This sent all of the cattle in the truck lunging forward and breaking the front of the headboard of the truck. The headboard, in turn, slammed into the back window which shattered into pieces.
"Two cows went up over the top of the corner of the truck, landing in the middle of the freeway. Startled, they jumped to their feet and took off running between the rows of traffic busting off the side mirrors as they went. At the same time, my dad and I were scrambling to tie the truck headboard back together so the remaining cows wouldn't escape. Leaving the two cows, we made it to the stock yard and got the truck unloaded. They had to send cowboys with horses from the stockyard out to round up the loose cows, which were running around Delta Park. Unknown to me, the news crews were all over this event. I have never lived it down! This is just one of the times that I had egg on my face.
"The lesson I learned from this experience is not to let even the most attractive things distract me from my priority tasks at hand.
"The action I call you to take is to stay focused on your priorities.
"The benefit you will gain is the ability to safely complete the task in front of you. You will eliminate problems before they occur and all the news about you will be good news."
"A cloudy day is no match for a sunny disposition." - William Arthur Ward
Engaging leaders are determined and diligent.
—Larry W. Dennis, Sr. President Turbo Leadership Systems