The aftermath of yesterday’s flood won’t just leave behind water-soaked boxes and soggy possessions; what will linger after everything has dried is doubt. I know already that there will come a day when I am looking for something and I will wonder: “Is it here somewhere or did it get thrown out in the flood?”

Experience has shown me that doubt is a great energy drain. I have some files upstairs in my office and some in the basement, and I find myself too easily giving up the hunt for something because I believe it is in the other location. This necessitates a search in the second place, only to have me return with more diligence to find the item where I thought it was initially. Had there not been doubt, I would have persisted and found it in far less time. Doubt also happens whenever I do a serious purging, when I travel or when I do anything to disrupt the natural order of my routines.

Whenever you have a plausible scapegoat – whether that be a person, a place or any multitude of options – our natural tendency is to jump on doubt as the default response. Strive to minimize the opportunities for doubt to creep into your organization. Doubt-busting examples could include: specify one person responsible for a project so there is no question who needs to do that task; have designated spots for key items so people can tell at a glance whether something is available or not, and keep records and documentation to add clarity to decisions.

Your time is better spent on something besides futile wondering.

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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