Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Of Dogs & Dreams

The other night I had a dream about our dog Jack-Jack. He’s the Chihuahua that I got for my daughter almost a year ago, who has emerged to become our dog now. I joke with my wife that Jack-Jack is her dog. She reminds me that he’s not her dog: she doesn’t have a dog. (I guess he’s my daughter’s and mine. My wife still loves him though.).

Jack-Jack wasn’t the only character in my dream. There was also a mastiff (HUGE dog). Here’s the scenario: Jack-Jack wanted to come into the house. The unnamed mastiff wanted to come into the house also, but he wasn’t my dog, therefore he didn’t belong in the house. (Maybe he’s my wife’s dog…oh yes: she doesn’t have a dog.)

Well I let Jack-Jack in the house while successfully blocking the mastiff, quickly shutting the door. Thinking I only let in my dog, I turn around and there is Jack-Jack and the mastiff. Now how did that happen?

But it gets better: not only is the mastiff there with Jack-Jack in my den, but there are also two kittens! (Allow me to assure you that we do not have any kittens – not even my wife does.)

I will not try to attach any spiritual meaning to my dream at this point. What I will do is make a comparison of my dream and creative leadership. You see, even though our best intentions in leadership are to let only "one dog in the house" (the one we are familiar with), often times another "dog" finds its way into our “house”, even after our best efforts to prevent it from happening.

And then, when we think our plans have only been altered by one “unexpected complication”, we look closer and see two “kittens” that seemed to appear out of nowhere.

Bottom line: No matter how hard we try, we will have unexpected setbacks, and sometimes hidden behind the setbacks are one or two other additional complications. Good leadership is about dealing effectively with the unexpected complications, as well as the task at hand.

Question: When have you experienced unexpected complications in leadership? How did you deal with them? Share below in responses…

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