“It turned out to be nothing.”

Under some circumstances, “nothing” may be seen as a failure. But in a virus situation, “nothing” is the best that can be hoped for. Wouldn’t it be great if everyone practiced social distancing, washed their hands and there wasn’t a big healthcare scare?

When Y2K happened, there was a flurry of precautions in the preceding months and it turned out to be a non-event. Hurrah! There were concerns about security at the last Olympics and no terrorist attack occurred. Yippee! But these successes make too many people complacent, thinking that the next impending crisis is all hype and should be ignored.

When it comes to things like a pandemic response, election security and natural disasters, the best possible outcome is that the predictions were overblown. However, except in cases where the blizzard is forecast and dissipates without precipitation, most averted problems are caused by multitudes of professionals working tirelessly behind the scenes and individuals doing their part to mitigate the negative impact.

We need to realign our definition of success to include “nothing” as the ultimate goal. And that’s where we are now. Stay home as much as you can in the coming days/weeks and hope that you’re fortunate enough that “nothing” happens because of it.

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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