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I’m on the feeder road about to merge onto the interstate. The boldfaced Yield sign is in my face. But the traffic is heavy, I’m in a hurry, and there’s an eighteen-wheeler truck coming down the right lane. If I get behind him, I’ll be stuck following him at 45 miles per hour. I’ll just speed up and beat him to the entrance ramp.
“Faster, faster, come on car! Where is my little red sports car when I need it? This Suburban has no acceleration… Darn it!”
I slam on the brakes to avoid hitting the truck and slide in behind him. Now I’m stuck behind this slow moving gravel truck kicking up rocks on my windshield.
Just like on the road, we sometimes must yield in our careers. When we move recklessly forward without taking the time to process the obstacles ahead of us, we can get ourselves in trouble. If we are pushing our idea without getting the necessary support and/or testing it out with others, roadblocks can appear that keep us from achieving our initial goal.
If we fail to assess the agendas and motivations of others and their potential impact on our objectives, we may end up looking foolish, losing support or failing outright. There are times when it’s wiser to concede to someone else’s idea with the goal of gaining a more important point later.
Yield doesn’t mean give up. It means slow down, assess and be strategic before you move forward. It works on the road, and it works in business.