Yesterday I had a little hiccup.
About seven months ago, my wife and I felt prompted—I think now by the Holy Spirit—to have a CT scan to measure calcium build up in or around our hearts. It was an out-of-pocket expense that seemed justified. Her score was a 4…mine was 1180. That didn’t seem, uh, good. I called our family doc and he immediately put me in touch with a cardiologist. After running some EKGs and a stress test, all seemed okay. I asked him about having a heart catheter procedure, but he wanted to wait on that…though he told me to watch for any odd symptoms. A couple of weeks ago while digging a bush out of our front yard, I felt out-of-breath and a little light-headed. I laid down on the front porch until it passed, then told my wife, “Something seems off.” I called the cardiologist’s office and met with the nurse practitioner who, after a while, scheduled a heart cath at a downtown hospital for eleven days later. After the appointment, she told me that she actually attends the church that I once pastored, but didn’t say anything while we met. She had started going there back in college. Very sweet…and somehow seemed confirming. And so yesterday I discovered that the artery to my heart that is darkly called “the widow maker” was 90% blocked. They immediately inserted two stents and then six hours later sent me home. To say I’m thankful is an understatement—I want to at least see my grandchildren graduate from high school. What’s fascinating is that the catheter itself is less than a tenth of an inch (which actually seemed large to me) and over 3½ feet long, but entering a vein in the wrist and winding around to my heart to provide video imaging seems nothing short of a miracle. I could actually watch the monitor—because they really don’t want to completely anesthetize you—and was amazed at what I couldn’t see and what the cardiologist could see. And the fact that the skill level is so off-the-chart that he could basically insert wire mesh “straws” to allow better blood flow. His experience and skill capacity was ridiculous…and just what I needed. All that to say that sometimes we all need help beyond what our own experience and education has offered. As a leader, don’t be afraid to ask for a little help when “something seems off”. Sometimes we just need someone with a little different life experience and perhaps a bit more proficiency when something is blocking the flow of possibilities in our organizations. And sometimes they can see something that we—in this moment of time—simply can’t. Asking for help is a very, very smart leadership move. Dave Workman | The Elemental Group