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The Worst Kind of Disruption

By Joey Havens

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The worst kind of disruption is the kind that could have been avoided and I certainly got what I deserved with this blowout. Earlier this year as crappie season rolled around, I rolled my boat out and began to get her ready for the season. As I checked the trailer tires, I thought—it’s really time to replace these. We are blessed with some fantastic lakes all within 90 miles of my home so I pull my boat a lot of miles in the two months of the crappie spawn. Again, I knew what I SHOULD do.

So I checked the treads, inspected the overall tires and aired them up to my desired tire pressure. I conveniently concluded that I could get one more year out of these old trailer tires. As I pulled out on my first long trip of the year, I shared with Bruce (my fishing partner) that the boat was pulling a little rough, not as smooth as usual. But after a few miles, I put it out of my mind. The next trip, I noticed it again but it seemed to get better as the miles went by. Then on a trip last week, I noticed that it was even rougher, so I stopped to check things out. Maybe I had something loaded wrong. Or maybe it’s the highway. Certainly can’t be the tires—they look fine. Anyway, I continued on under the delusion that it was not the fault of these not-ready-to-replace-yet tires.

When Friday came I was so excited to be headed to Grenada Lake to wade for the day. Grenada Lake is known for some of the largest crappie in the world. As I pulled out around 7 a.m. for the 90-minute trip, I noticed the boat trailer was pulling very roughly, even sounded loud this time. But all I could think about was that big crappie waiting for me so I slowed down some and continued on my journey. After a great day fishing and catching a beautiful 2.5-pound crappie within five feet of me, I was one happy fisherman. So I loaded up and headed back home. Wow, this boat is pulling hard and vibrating way too much. I stopped after just a few miles and checked things out but saw nothing, so I pulled onto the interstate and started the trip home. I didn’t get very far as just five miles outside of Grenada—BOOM! The left trailer tire blew out.

I saw the disruption coming from the moment pulled the boat out for the first time this year but I ignored the signs and now here it was. Even scarier, I could only get a few feet off the interstate with the boat and I had to change the tire on the interstate side. I’m happy to share that I did go into my gratitude self-talk to keep my spirits high. I was thankful I had not lost control of the boat with the blowout. I was thankful I had been able to pull over with no traffic around. I was thankful I had left early enough that I had at least an hour of daylight left. (I have been known to fish to “dark thirty” as CeCe says.) I was thankful that the storm system that was bearing down on our area was not coming for a few more hours. And mostly, I was thankful I had a spare.

The good news is that I was able to safely (well sort of safely, I will blog about that injury next week) change the tire quickly and return home safe and sound. Late, as CeCe noted, but safe and sound.

My disruption was predictable and could have been avoided if I had been more proactive in my decisions and actions. I was well aware of the risk, I understood what causes the risk, I knew how to monitor the risk. Yet, I stayed in my comfort zone. I stayed with the status quo because it was easier and—in the short term at least—less expensive. Looking back, I would have paid double the cost of new tires to have avoided the disruption. But I allowed this to happen. And my avoidance of doing what I knew I needed to do, taking action and enduring some short-term pain put me at greater risk and resulted in disruption of my trip.

Most of today’s disruption in our businesses and the disruption that is coming is also very predictable and can be anticipated just like this blowout. Too often, we find ourselves in this predicament where we know and understand the risks, yet fail to take action. Understanding and knowing do not provide us the ability to avoid the disruption. Only action can bring us opportunity and avoid disruption.

How are your tires? After lots of disruption, I have new ones.