Here’s a Recommendation for a Great Book

I just finished reading Shadow Divers. It’s a story about deep divers who discover and explore a sunken vessel with historical implications. This book should go on your summer reading list if you’d like a non-fiction page turner. I couldn’t put it down.
There are several idea sparking concepts to take away from the book. I often teach that just about any book has lessons that can be applied to business. Shadow Divers is loaded with thought provoking nuggets.
Diving to 200+ feet is dangerous. In less than twenty minutes the effects of nitrogen buildup in your system will cloud your judgment. You cannot trust your senses. The fish will talk to you. Divers commonly become entangled in wreckage. Orientation is confused in the darkness and murkiness of the deep sea. Divers often get lost.
So what do you do when your twenty minutes is up, your judgment is failing and your air is running out? Panic?
Experienced divers use some basic rules to escape death. Managers should adopt these rules.
First, remind yourself, “If I’m breathing, I’m okay.” As long as you are breathing you can deal with the situation. This self-reminder helps calm your system. The rapid heartbeat and gulp breathing of panic consumes resources at an accellerated rate. Calm down.
Next, deal with the first problem first. The immediate goal is to get out of the first mess, not to get back to the boat 200 feet above you. If tangled in wreckage, disoriented and short of air, put all your focus into dealing with the entanglement.
As obvious as that may seem, it’s usually not what we do. In business when things are going wrong we tend to formulate the “big plan” to fix everything. The cloud of panic causes us to forget that our problem is really a collection of small problems. If we solve the small, immediate problems we will get back to the boat. If we try to fix everything at once, we’ll probably gulp our remaining air and end up on the bottom.
If I’m breathing, I’m okay.
Shameless Promotion: My outside prospective brings focus. I can help identify the little fixes that will add up to the bigger fix. That’s what I do. Mary Poppins, but a guy. I can also remind you that if you’re breathing, you’re still okay. It helps to hear it.
Chris Reich, Author of TeachU’s Business Talk Blog