As I was riding bikes with my sister and cousin in San Antonio Texas many years ago, a car began to follow me. My sister and cousin were up ahead on the left, and I was lagging behind on the right side of the street, no doubt day-dreaming.
That’s when I noticed headlights behind me, and I moved over so they could pass me. But as I moved over, so did they. My cousin, Richard, now noticed what was going on. He saw the car picking up speed, and that’s when he yelled, “Jump!”
I jumped off my bicycle in an instant and began to run. The car actually hit the bike I left behind, and the man in the big blue car stepped out and reached for me as I ran past him, but I smacked at his hand and kept going.
My cousin’s message was clear and my reaction was immediate. We found out from the police that this blue car had been seen in a variety of attempted kidnappings in the area.
In times of change leaders often fail to provide clear, concise, quick communication. We turn what should be simple instructions into complex messages that have too much input and are delivered too late.
In the world of business, my cousin would have waited until the guy had me in the car and then yelled, as our taillights disappeared around the corner:
“Donna, you might want to consider taking an action such as jumping off of your bike, because it appears the man in the blue car is going to hit your bike, although that is just my opinion. If you jump, however, it will dovetails nicely with your I’m old enough to ride my bike by myself initiative because it will show that you are capable of taking care of yourself. Based upon these two key assumptions, JUMP!”
Think about your messages during times of change. Is there a call that can be made quickly and easily? Maybe it’s:
Sometimes messages need to be immediate to provide quick hits and solutions. Simplify during times of change and show a willingness to make a quick decision. Sometimes you just need to jump!