I was in a parking lot when a car alarm went off. I did nothing. Everyone around me did nothing as well. The car made noise and flashed its lights for a few moments, then went silent without intervention.

What is the point of a car alarm? Does anyone respond to them? Do they truly aid in theft reduction or deterrent? Or, more likely, it is an idea that sounded good, but really has little value in practical application.

Do you have “car alarms” in your organization — something that is in place, but not adding much value, or something that generates angst but turns out to be nothing? If people are ignoring you as they do car alarms, it should be a warning sign.

Alarms that go off but mean nothing diffuse the reaction to legitimate alarms that merit a response. Remember that childhood fable about the little boy who cried “wolf” once too often, and only sound the alarm when a reaction is expected.

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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