The buck stops with me

I remember the day it all happened.

I was the foreman of a treeplanting crew in Northwestern Ontario. My boss, Ernie, was a hands-on guy who always took care of everything. We were camped at Lake of the Woods Houseboats just north of Sioux Lookout, ON, but were working in the bush about 30 minutes away. Ernie had just driven off in his truck. I climbed in the van to take the crew out to the bush but when I turned the key, nothing! I got on the radio to call Ernie back but for some reason couldn’t connect with him.

It was at that moment that I knew it for the first time: If I didn’t act then we wouldn’t be able to work today. It was a novel experience for me. Up until then I had relied upon others to get me through difficult times.

The key was that I had to make a decision to act. If I hadn’t done anything I am sure that Ernie would have figured things out, come back, and solved the problem.

The thing keeping me from acting was the unknown. What is wrong with the van? Will I be able to fix it? How long will this take? If I mess up will I get fired?

Once I moved beyond that into action I discovered that the problem was fairly easy to solve. The battery was dead (because I had left the lights on) and the owner of the place we were staying had a truck and booster cables. We had everything running in no time!

All in all it was a lot of worry over a very small problem. But it was still a problem that required me to act!

What problem are you facing? What fears are you overcoming? What action do you need to take in order to move forward?

Who knows? This might be your “the buck stops here” moment!

Photo in the Public Domain.

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