Don't Pee in The Pool

by Pool Builders on 05-31-2009 in Articles

As a boy, every summer I would look forward to swimming in Miss June's pool. She had the only pool in the neighborhood. To our good fortune, she allowed us to swim the entire day for only twenty-five cents!

The longest two weeks of my life came about a month into the first summer of being privileged to swim at Miss June's. It was a hot, muggy Louisiana day, and swimming in that pool was like heaven. Everyone was laughing and yelling and splashing. Then suddenly, the shouts of laughter turned into shrieks of horror, and every kid was bailing out of the pool at lightning speed. When there's a sudden change in the water temperature, the news spreads fast!

Miss June came out shouting, "What in heaven's name is going on out here!" No one was bold enough to claim credit for the incident, though we were certainly willing to point the finger at each other. It was a chaotic moment. Accusations were being hurled -- fingers were pointing -- denials were flying. Miss June didn't tolerate that type of behavior so she simply closed the pool for two weeks that summer -- the longest two weeks of my life.

That was my first lesson in collective responsibility: It doesn't matter what you're involved with in this world -- when someone doesn't take responsibility for their own actions, everyone pays the price!

Just as in business. Every day we make decisions and take actions that have an impact beyond our desk. As our choices go out, they cross the paths of many individuals, businesses, projects, situations, and events. As these paths cross, it creates positive and negative effects that impact everyone.

A negative impact creates what I refer to as a crash point. These collisions are not always seen, felt or recognized right away. For instance, if you produce at a sub-par level, you may still get the same paycheck. There's no immediate impact on you, but there is on the business. Eventually, you will feel the impact, and so will many others.

Crash points from poor mind-sets have left many scars on society throughout time. Actions that seem harmless in the moment are carried out with little thought to impact. In 2008, in New York City, a crane collapsed and seven people lost their lives. A report showed that the crane was inspected two weeks earlier for violations. The city inspector was arrested for falsifying the records. Did someone pay him to 'overlook' safety violations or did he just want to catch up on his paperwork?

It's critical that we not lose sight of the potential crash point of our own behaviors. The stakes are bigger than what we see on a daily basis. Look around: Should you turn a blind eye when coworkers are not performing? Turn down a request for help because it's not in your job description? Limit your input due to poor relations? Stifle communications for your own benefit? Could your decision limit profitability? Could your judgment put others in harm's way? Be willing to look at the possibilities truthfully.

As we learn to take responsibility for our own efforts and the impacts they make, we dramatically improve the odds of success for ourselves, our business, our customers and our associates.

So be careful not to pee in the pool! And ensure others don't either -- it ruins it for everyone.

Leave a Comment

List YOUR Pool Business