The more I hear about the Florida election recount the more some officials seem like petulant teenagers who can only come up with reasons why something won’t work instead of considering other options for how it could.

I understand that it must be a massive job to recount 8 million ballots for three races, but saying it is “impossible” to do by the deadline isn’t exhibiting much creative thinking. Couldn’t the small counties send their machines to the large counties when they are finished or maybe some neighboring states could share? Or perhaps the company who makes the machines provide some emergency assistance. And who said it had to be just the election workers doing the recount: couldn’t a temporary crew be brought in to the metropolitan areas to aid in the task?

Since it is a critical task that has implications for Florida and beyond, it would seem that if they really wanted the ballots to be counted by Thursday they could marshal the resources to get it done.

The next time you or your organization is faced with a daunting task, look beyond the usual ways to solve it. Don’t tell people that you can’t get something done; instead, tell them what you need to accomplish the task within the extraordinary parameters. Unprecedented circumstances require solutions and options that may have not been feasible in ordinary times but can become available to address extreme situations.

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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