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Useful Idioms and Brilliant Insights From Pop Joe – Fighting for Space

By Joey Havens

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In the first blog of this four-part series on Pop Joe’s idioms, I shared one of our favorites which was “You can get happy in those same britches that you got sad in.” Sometimes, when we did not pay heed to this warning and encouragement, we would hear this next one, which I would guess is not as well known and might even be a Havens original.

My brother, Mike, and I are four years apart and it’s really hard to explain how much we love each other today considering we grew up fighting all the time. Frequently, when we would load up in the Chevrolet Impala (Pop Joe loved those Impalas, especially in blue), Mike and I would find ourselves in the back seat. If the drive was over 15 minutes, it was inevitable that one of us would be violating the other’s personal space or simply aggravating them to no end. (Usually Mike, of course.) After a couple of stern warnings from Pop Joe which had gone largely ignored, we would hear the one idiom that put chills down our spines.

“Don’t make me pull this car over,” he would say without even looking around. We knew then that we had pushed him as far as we could and if we didn’t straighten up immediately, he was going to pull over and we were in big trouble. “Spare the rod, spoil the child,” would likely be exercised.

As firms, are we holding each other and our team members accountable to the strategic direction of our firms? We know our profession and services are changing drastically and it requires that all of us change how we work and what we work on. We know we are much better off if we are looking out of the windshield and developing new skills rather than in the backseat fighting for space and clinging to the status quo. Do we need a new idiom for those clinging to yesterday? “Don’t make us pull this firm over?” Hope you have a pleasant journey that has no serious detours.