I woke the other morning to a big ruckus from my dogs. I thought there must be an intruder from the way they were barking and trying to get out onto my screened-in porch. 

I was right about the intrusion, but much to my surprise the interloper was a squirrel who had made its way onto my patio and was clinging for dear life to my hanging basket of flowers.

It was obvious that the animal was shaken by my presence and the barking. I immediately thought of Scaredy Squirrel, the series of great children’s books by Melanie Watt that I wrote about in dot #797. But here was a literal scaredy squirrel, and despite my coaxing with peanuts and nudging with screen-shaking, he was planted. For 10 hours.
Both the dogs and I expended energy on its presence, but we didn’t need to. What had been a focus for an hour and then took my attention throughout the day eventually became invisible and the problem took care of itself. 

Do you have situations like this visiting rodent where something out of the ordinary redirects your attention even though it is a non-event? The next time a metaphorical squirrel crawls into your porch, leave it be. 

Just because something is novel doesn’t make it a priority. 

beth triplett

Dot #797: go nuts  August 7, 2014

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

Dr. beth triplett is the owner of leadership dots, offering coaching, training and consulting for new supervisors. She also shares daily lessons on her leadershipdots blog. Her work is based on the leadership dots philosophy that change happens through the intentional connecting of small steps in the short term to the big picture in the long term.

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