Influenza-B. The was the emphatic word from the nurse at the after-hours clinic last Monday. That certainly explained why I felt like I had been hit by a freight train. And one of the first questions that she asked me as I walked in was, “Have you had your flu shot?”
Her question bothered e a little. She didn’t ask if I had “A” flu shot. She asked did you have “YOUR” flu shot. She personalized it. She made me take ownership of something that I didn’t actually own nor had I taken advantage of receiving the many times it is offered to employees where I work and many other places for those of us of a certain age and stage of life. But, I had not taken MY flu shot.
Perhaps I should have taken MY flu shot. All of the real medical evidence seems to indicate that if it doesn’t prevent you from getting the flu, it will at least lessen the duration and magnitude of the symptoms. Unfortunately, I like so many, chose to believe otherwise about the efficacy of the annual flu shot.
What is the Leadership Lesson?
The key to learning a leadership lesson from this is to understand what the flu vaccine is, or was. The serum in the vaccine has been developed from the introduction of live viruses into a fertilized chicken egg. The virus multiplies and then is extracted from the egg. Finally, the active virus is “inactivated” and the antigens are purified and collected and made into the flu shot serum.
These flu vaccines cause antibodies to develop in the body about two weeks after vaccination. These antibodies provide protection against infection with the viruses that are in the vaccine.
Basically, through the flu vaccine, your body is given the benefit of having contracted and then fought off the flu virus without actually ever having contact with the live and dangerous virus. In a way, we are injected with “Flu Fighting Experience” with fighting the flu virus. Wouldn’t you love an injection of “Leadership Experience?”
A Leadership Shot
There is no such vaccine. However, there is a way to inject some experience into your leadership experience. How many of you have a mentor? How many of you have an older and more experienced leader that you sit down with on a regular basis and discuss the challenges that you are facing? Chances are, they have already experienced them or something similar. And their experience is highly valuable if we will avail ourselves of them and listen when they speak.
Have you had YOUR leadership shot?