Sabotage at the Crossroad
July 24, 2017
Gail Bower in Leadership, Strategy
Driving down the street the other day, I burned rubber, squealing my breaks, to stop short in an intersection even though I had a green light. 

The reason? 

To avoid hitting a man on a bicycle who sped through his red light without looking for oncoming traffic. 

What made the situation bizarre is that he was wearing a paper mask to filter out air pollution.

So he took a preventive measure (paper mask) to protect himself from something he cannot control (air pollution) yet failed to take a step guaranteed not to cause him injury (stopping at the red light) over which he had complete control.

Taking preventive action — in other words taking steps in the present to prevent something in the future — is generally a wise move, assuming it’s a good option. But when we undermine that action with sabotaging behavior, we’re at net zero.

Do you see this pattern anywhere in your life?

Article originally appeared on Gail Bower (
See website for complete article licensing information.