The Three Point Turn

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning,
but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”

Maria Robinson
American author


Lately, I’ve been thinking about change, especially when it involves going in a completely new direction.  Perhaps it involves the people with whom we work.  It could involve our loved ones or friends.  It could pertain to our own lives.  Halloween seems an appropriate day to talk about this because many of us find change scary.


Companies, jobs, relationships and lives all can take new directions.  Sometimes the change is unpleasant.  A company goes out of business, a layoff occurs, someone passes away, or we just need to look at someone or something differently to move ahead.  Sometimes the change is for the better but receives the same resistance because change just makes some of us uncomfortable.


A friend told me a story recently.  As a law enforcement professional, he deals with critical situations regularly.  So do the people that report to him.  One day a direct report came in late and needed to talk with my friend.  This particular individual is normally high maintenance from the standpoint of supervision.  That day he had witnessed a deadly automobile accident on the way into work.  That’s why the he was late getting in.


However, that wasn’t all.  Being on the scene of an accident, his first responder instincts kicked in.  Long story short, after administering first aid to a motorist involved in the accident the victim then died in his arms.


My friend told me he had to step back and look at this individual in a completely different way.  Instead of seeing him as a difficult employee, he saw him as another human being in need of support and a shoulder to lean on.  After hearing that story, I commended my friend for being able to shift gears and go from supervisor to supportive.  He did a180˚ turn in seconds…

Recently, I’ve talked with folks who have lost their jobs; folks who have left their jobs to pursue a calling; folks who have left a calling to find work that will pay the bills.  Some have lost loved ones; some may be coming to the end of their own lives and finally, a few who are starting new, exciting chapters in their lives.  I’ve come to realize two things.  First, facing change takes courage when it involves our own lives and compassion when supporting others faced with change in theirs.  Second, you don’t have to go too far to find a person whose day is going worse than yours is.


I encourage all of you to embrace the need to go in another direction when needed.  Perhaps it will be in relation to a coworker, or a task or your job.  It may involve facing a change in direction in your life.  It may mean just considering how someone else’s day has gone before reacting to their poor disposition or considering how your day has gone and how it’s affecting yours.  Your ability to step back and change your tact or direction will make you a better leader.


Where am I going with all this?  I’m not sure yet, it’s a work in progress.  Nevertheless, I am convinced we have a better chance of changing the ending of any challenging circumstance if we start by being open to change.


Here to serve,


John Duba

Next month:  ?              

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