I was scrambling to get on the road by 6:30 the other morning, to make the drive to southern Missouri so I could attend my Aunt Bette's funeral. As usual, I had a running list in my mind of all the things I needed to do and take along for the trip. Somewhere near the bottom of the list were a box of cheese crackers (for road sustenance) and my Bluetooth headset.
About thirty minutes in, I was starting to get hungry and wanting to listen to Catholic radio on my phone, since I could not find the station on the radio. Sadly, I discovered I’d forgotten the delicious cheese crackers. And though I moved things around on the passenger seat and checked the center storage compartment, I couldn’t find my Bluetooth headset. I wound up listening the non-hands free way, holding the phone to my ear, still wishing I had those crackers.
Some time later, having stopped to make a crucial purchase of cheese crackers and use the facilities, I was washing my hands. Looking up from the sink to the mirror, I spotted the Bluetooth headset around my neck—exactly where I’d put it just a few hours earlier, before I’d gotten into the car.
What’s your mirror?
Clearly, lessons are everywhere.
Here’s the strategic thinking question I saw in that moment: Where are your mirrors? And what are you doing to make sure you have the help you need, in order see all the obvious things you CAN'T see for yourself?
Your mirrors might be people (the ones that will kindly or not so kindly remind you that you're missing the obvious), things (information and reports that provide real insights from multiple perspectives), or situations (new environments that create alternative perspectives from the ones you usually see).
Heck, the mirrors may take some other form altogether (if yours are cheese crackers, I’d like to know more).
Ultimately, you need to make sure you that your most valuable mirrors have the clearest views of you, so they can alert you as early as possible to important things you miss when you try to go it on your own.
So, what mirrors are on your list? And which mirrors can you start putting around you before the week is over? - Mike Brown
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