I was hanging out with a friend of mine today, when I noticed that he got the new iPhone 5 (I have the iPhone 4). As we walked through the local mall, I commented that I would expect him to be one of the first ones to get the newest iPhone when it came out (he is a huge fan of Apple products). Without missing a beat he said “I pre-ordered it.” What has gotten into us? Not only are we not satisfied with getting the newest products, but we have to pre-order them as if it would kill us to have to wait another week to get our product because they had a rush of sales and sold all that they had. What makes this iPhone 5 so great that he would pre-order it? As we talked about this, he said “not much, it’s just new.” He explained to me how there is another row for apps, and it’s a cool new color, and the lightning port that is “supposed to put us with the rest of the world, but no one is using it yet” (not sure where he got this fact-I have no clue if he’s right). He ended it with a simple statement “basically, it’s the same as the 4.” It seems as though many Americans are living in the ‘I need it now’ state. But what happens when our technology fails us?
In Lincoln County (on the Oregon Coast), this is exactly what happened. A man Paul Evans was home with one of his daughters when the unthinkable happened. His daughter (2 years old) had made a mess in the kitchen so he sent her to her room. He heard some noise coming from there, with a small amount of crying, and then it stopped. So he went to go check on her. When he opened the door he found a mess. The bookcase had fallen onto her legs, she was lying on the floor not alert, and her beautiful blonde hair was stained from the blood flowing out of her ear. As any good parent would do, he went for the phone (I doubt it was an iPhone). He called 9-1-1 and heard a voice on the other end. Only this time the voice was an automated recording telling him that the number was not recognized (what the heck!) After calling the number several times, he was not sure what to do. Not wanting to hurt his daughter any more by moving her, but wanting her to get help, he decided to move her and throw her and her baby brother into the car, and he drove her to the hospital. She is doing better now and is recovering just fine.
WHAT THE HECK!!! While he wasn’t using a cell phone but a land line, he was not able to do something that we take for granted every day. When an emergency struck, 1 mistake on the part of a company (a whole other issue possibly for a different day), totally freaked this guy out (as it would me as well). Does this father, customer, man, husband have anything to teach us regarding leadership and how we live our lives? ………… I’m sure what I’m about to say next didn’t even cross his mind. But as observers, I feel we have much we can learn from this.
Doing what needs to be done, when it needs to be done! This easily could have been any of us. It could have been us who was stuck making the decision of what to do next. Lets look at the possibilities: This dad easily could have left his daughter on the floor bleeding while repeatedly calling 9-1-1 hoping for a different response. So many leaders lead like this. But they forget to lead like Paul Evans! Did he freak out a little? I’m sure (after all his daughter was not responding while laying in a pile of blood). Was he worried about what others would think (I’m sure it was in the back of his mind-subconsciously at least). But he still did what needed to be done! He didn’t wait for his wife to return home from grocery shopping to make a decision, he made a decision then! When we make decisions as leaders, we must always ask, “am I leading like Paul Evans?”
Leading like Paul Evans is “doing what needs to be done, when it needs to be done”
If you want to read the story for yourself click here