Prevention is Less Costly than the Cure

Benjamin Franklin has been credited with the quote, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”  Is this just a catchy phrase that’s been handed down for over two hundred years, or is there great wisdom in his words?

Let’s look at a practical example.  Think about your car… you know it needs periodic maintenance, but you’ve been too busy to take it in for an oil change. Then that warning light comes on. You panic a little, but tell yourself “it’s just an early warning” and you’ll get your car in for service as soon as you can… but then life doesn’t slow down.  

Fast forward a few months, you’re flying down the freeway and you hear a loud, banging noise right before your engine shuts off. You try to steer your car to the side of road without getting run over by traffic.  Wow, what happened?

For starters, you didn’t take the necessary steps to keep your engine in good running order.  The second thing is that you ignored the warning signs.

What could probably have been prevented for the price of an oil change and a couple of hours of your time has now turned into a costly experience leaving you stranded on the highway and lucky not to have been in, or to have caused a serious accident.

This blog is about more than your car.  It is about how we live our lives.  Is your go-to place one of prevention, or is it one of wait and see what happens?

Prevention or Cure, that is the question.

The most effective leaders create an environment of continuous, constructive feedback.  Addressing things in a positive, low-key way as soon as they occur will ensure employees always know where they stand and will enable them to get back on track quickly.

Healthy teams need healthy leaders. How do you manage yourself… are you taking a preventative approach or a wait and see? Do you make time for that annual checkup with blood work and eye exam, those twice-a-year dental cleanings, and at the right age a colonoscopy?

If you feel pain, do you recognize it as your body’s call for help and get it checked out?  Ladies, do you make time for mammograms and bone density tests?  Gents, do you make time for PSA checks?  This type of taking care of yourself is equivalent to having your oil changed before it turns into something more serious.

Are you as important as your house or car? Do you take care of the essentials?  Are you practicing work/life management? Are you taking preventative steps to keep you in the best physical, emotional and spiritual condition?

Are you paying attention to the warning signs?

Or ignoring them? Are you speeding down the freeway?  Are you willing to take a few hours to keep you in good running order, or would you rather wait until something more serious shows up?

Whether it’s your car, your team or you, being proactive and taking care of the little things gets you the right results. It is never too late. Pick up that phone and schedule those appointments today.

Don McPherson, former National Football League and Canadian Football League quarterback says, “True prevention is not waiting for bad things to happen, it’s preventing things from happening in the first place.”

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