When Damar Hamlin was injured in the Monday football game last week, it reset our thinking about who these players are and how much we demand of them.

It was hard for us to see everything suddenly stop – for minutes, then for an hour, and then the game was indefinitely postponed.

This brought to mind other challenging situations I’ve seen over the course of my career. Many years ago I observed that all it took was to tell my boss that “I have a family emergency” and all of a sudden all other priorities dropped.

  • Teammates volunteered to pick up the slack.
  • Deadlines were removed.
  • Tasks were reallocated.

I happened to be lucky to work in a company where people felt they could bring their humanity to work, but … why aren’t all companies like that?

Is YOUR company like that?

If you think about it, there’s ALWAYS some kind of backup mode. One of my clients broke his leg on a business trip and had to come home early. People get sick. Bad weather causes plans to change.

And you know what? Things continue on. Sure, you might have to call up a customer who was inconvenienced, but … life continues.

Rarely does it do great damage to your business and the people who work for you.

I used to work for a boss who had previously been an air traffic controller. When someone brought up the latest disaster, he would often ask, “Did anybody die?”

And of course, the answer was often No. So it helped us realize that a short-term problem was rarely at the level of being life-changing and truly disastrous.

So let’s continue to create a culture which places issues in proper perspective.Yes, things can be important and urgent and high priority and all that. Fine.

But there are always things which are even more important.