As I stood on the river’s edge listening to the waves lap up on the shore, I found myself getting hypnotized by the rhythmic motion. My friend recalled his days on Navy ships where sailors would get lulled into what they called the “Sound of the Siren” when waves in the ocean put seamen in a trance, often to their detriment as they fell asleep and went overboard.

On land, professional drivers take steps to avert “white line fever” where the operator becomes so fixated on the road ahead that they become hypnotized by the line instead of alert to what is in front of them. The same phenomenon occurs during blizzards where the focus shifts to the swirling snow instead of the road.

What metaphorical waves are lulling you into complacency? Is your attention diverted by the rhythm of the rut that is all around you instead of being focused on the true issue at hand?

It’s very easy to become seduced by the sound of the siren – whether you’re on a ship or in the office. Take care to stay alert enough to avoid being mesmerized by the routine.


About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

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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