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Not on My Watch

By Joey Havens

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As my brother-in-law Kris pulls into our driveway with Happy (my mother-in-law, who, as I previously blogged, loves to come over late afternoons for a glass of wine and to embellish some stories), I quickly rise from my chair on the carport and prepare to open her passenger door.  

I greet her, “Hey, Happy! Good to see you!”

“Oh, you are going to get my door? Thank you, but I’m feeling great. I’m not going to fall.”  

“Well, I know Happy, but this is just in case. I am not going to have something happen to you on my watch. Those three sons of yours and my wife would never forgive me.” 

No falling — not on my watch. 

Happy laughs, “you are right about that!” 

We slowly ease up the driveway as I hold her hand, ready to catch her if she stumbles. I know we are in for an afternoon full of stories with a bit of drama mixed in.  

As leaders, remembering everyone leads at different times and in different ways — what are we committed to not allowing to happen on our watch?

It’s an important question and one that we can use to drive action that makes our organizations and us better. In 2013, I introduced #beBetter as a rally cry for our firm because I did not want the status quo to occur on my watch as the executive partner. On social media, I use #beEvenBetter also to keep our mindset focused on how we can make things better. We each get a daily opportunity to make things better and it takes uncommon discipline to stay focused on improving every day.  

Whether I am on watch in my driveway with Happy or every day in my role at the firm — what am I committed to not allow on my watch? Have you thought about what the one thing is that you are committed to not allow to happen on your watch? 

Happy, don’t get up. I will get you a glass of wine.