Leadership Lessons from a Locked Car

My wife turned around and asked why the door was closed. Immediately, I knew what was coming next. The key to her car was locked inside. The spare key was also locked inside because I used it to start her car and get the A/C running. Break a window, call a locksmith, or ask for help seemed the only options.

Leadership Lessons from a Locked Car

My wife called the ranger station for the park to see if they could help, and while we waited for them to respond, I tried figuring out a way in. I didn’t have a wire hanger or a slim jim. I looked all through my car for something that would get me in, and I was at a loss. I pulled off her antenna and tried it, but I couldn’t reach the lock button with it, and I couldn’t use it to lift the lock.

After almost an hour locked out of the vehicle, the rangers still hadn’t arrived to help. I stumbled across an old pair of earbuds lying in the grass, and an idea came to me. I used the earbuds to create a small loop and tied it to the antenna. I was able to maneuver the loop around the door lock and lift it to unlock the door. Victory was mine.

A few thoughts came to mind about this adventure and how it may help others improve their leadership:

  1. Don’t stop looking for a solution. Just because you’ve asked for help, you don’t have to stop looking for a solution. I have no idea how long the rangers would have taken to get there or if they could have offered any real assistance. I kept looking for a way to solve the problem, and you should too.
  1. Use the tools you have even if they’re not the tools you need. The primary tool I needed to get in the car was a key or key fob, but I didn’t have those available. A wire hanger would have been nice or a locksmith tool set for getting into cars, but I didn’t have those either. I used some old ear buds and an antenna. You may not have the tools you think you need to do the job. If so, use what you have until you can make it work for what you need.
  1. Ask for help. Sure, I wanted to solve the problem, but just in case a solution came quicker than I could deliver, we called for help. If you can solve the problem by just asking for some assistance, then use it. You are surrounded by people with specific skills who are waiting for the opportunity to use them to help you.
  1. Look for the lesson in every situation. We were in the park to ride our bikes. While we were riding, I spent some time in prayer, and I spent some time in thought about what lessons I could learn and pass on from this situation. Your experiences are an opportunity to teach others. Find the lesson in your experience and share that wisdom with others.

Question: What life experience has given you lessons to share? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

I am an author, speaker, and leader with a passion for developing people into practical leaders who put their principles into practice. I am the co-author of the acclaimed book Faith Acts with best-selling author Dillon Burroughs, the Chief Operations Officer at the Chattanooga Community Kitchen, and an independent leadership consultant to up and coming leaders and start up nonprofit organizations. My greatest joy, however, is serving Christ and his Church. I am the proud husband of Shay and father of two great boys. We live in Chattanooga, TN. #NoogaStrong

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive, off-topic, or downright annoying.

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