Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Bells on Bob Tail Ring?

It's the time of year where Christmas carols abound.  And I find myself tuning into the local 'all-Christmas, all the time' station and sing along (much to my kid's chagrin!).

Hearing the words from "Jingle Bells" I often wonder why many artists seem to butcher the lyrics in a specific line.  The line is 'bells on bob tail rings'...and I often hear 'bells on bob tails ring'.  I actually thought it should be 'bells on Bob's tail ring' - Bob being the horse.

With some Google searching and investigation, I have found that bob-tail is a short tail on a now I am confused.  Should I go with what it means, or should I stick to my own lyrics and let the artists get away with artistic license in their interpretation?  At the end of the day, the song is still fun to sing and gives great energy and spirit to the season, so does butchering it really matter.  The objective is achieved no matter what the words.

What does all of this have to do with leadership?  Good question.

As I thought about this while preparing for a few Christmas events, I came to realize that as leaders, we appreciate many things at face value because we surround ourselves with the right people (hopefully) and so, give 'artistic license' to those around us.  We may forego investigation and research because we feel the experts know what they are doing.  There are times when, as leaders, we need to do that extra step and be certain we have covered all of our bases.  We need to know that while our thoughts and knowledge may be one thing, that validation or at least more perspective is necessary (I can site the latest news in Ontario about Ornge, where millions of dollars in payouts and more was simply ignored by the Minister in charge of the investigation!)

So Bob's tail rings, bob-tail rings or bob tails ring - really not the issue...the next steps are, especially in reaching the desired outcome.

Think about the current projects that are active in your business.  Where are they now?  Are you sure they are progressing?  Is there a stuck point that is being driven by artistic license and not necessarily focused on the outcome.

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