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Just a Second

By Joey Havens

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“Just a second,” says our ten-year-old granddaughter, Dabs.

I’m shuffling the Uno cards as we are keeping three of our grandkids for three nights before the start of the school year. On my left is Shealy Kate, eight years old, who lives in Natchez, MS; on my right is Dabs’ brother Sully, 6. We are setting up for our nightly Uno challenge, and Dabs is occupied on her iPad.

I notice Sully is leaning over towards me with his hand cupped on the side of his mouth, trying to whisper to me.

“Pops, that means it’s going to be several minutes.”


“Yeah, every time,” says Sully smiling like he had let me in on the biggest secret in the world. “Just a second doesn’t mean a second.”

Sully is sharing with us in real time what we see daily in the workplace. People are not doing what they say they are going to do. We see leaders whose team members already know the leader will not live and demonstrate the values they are voicing. This gap creates low trust in teams and clouds any meaning that team members desire in their roles and purpose.

What negative behaviors do our team members anticipate from us? Do we consistently overpromise? Do we respect others by being on time? Being truly present? It’s so easy to be casual about our commitments and words, but they matter. Small ripples lead to big waves in our ability to influence and be effective as team members and leaders.

CeCe, do you want us to deal you in for the next game? Just a second….

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