"It was a stormy day on top of Mount Hood. Snowboarding season was on the rise. My two roommates, a friend and a relative, were skiing on the out of bounds side of the mountain. I hit a downed tree that was covered by snow. After flipping four or five times in the air I came down hard on my neck and my shoulder resulting in a separated shoulder. After a long, slow, painful trip down the mountain and a 70 mile ambulance ride to Gresham, OR, the doctor sent me home with some powerful, pain medications.
"I had a friend that had a history of prescription drug abuse but I thought he was all over that. We were at my house when he asked if I wanted a pill for my pain. He also asked if he could have one. I said, 'Sure' and didn't think anything of it. But when I went to go get another pill, the entire pill-bottle was gone!! I immediately asked the three friends who were at my house that day if they had taken my meds. All replied, 'No way' would they ever steal my meds.
"So I called my friend with the pill problem and asked him to come back to my house. When he arrived, I am sorry to say, I freaked! I ranted, 'If I ever see you again...! You better never stop by...! You are lucky I don't...!'
"Fifteen years later I found out it was my cousin who lied to my face when I asked her, her husband, my best friend (roommates) to find out that someone had a pill problem and stole the whole jar. Not just five or six pills but the entire 150 pill bottle.
"The lesson I learned from this experience is to never act until I have all the facts. I need to be absolutely certain I am 100% sure before I blow my top and accuse someone of wrong doing. Fifteen years later when I found out who the real culprit was I felt two inches tall for wrongfully accusing my friend.
"The action I call you to take is give it a minute. Don't jump to conclusions.
"The benefit you will gain is you will never have the embarrassment of discovering that you have wrongfully accused anyone. I wouldn't want you to feel as bad as I did."
Leaders must make judgements, distinguish between right and wrong, and the best leaders are consistent in holding their team to high standards. Tyler's story reminds us of the personal pain we experience when we make judgements without all of the facts.
Classes graduated in Vancouver, Washington (25 graduates), Clackamas, Oregon (38), and Bend, Oregon (29). Successfully completing the Leadership Development Lab requires persistent effort and courageous determination. Thank you to the 30 companies represented in these classes.
You can reach Larry Dennis in Loganville, GA TODAY at firstname.lastname@example.org or 503-329-4519
never act until I have all the facts
—Larry W. Dennis, Sr. President Turbo Leadership Systems