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The Squeaky Wheel

By J. C. BAILEY III

I recently listened to a leadership expert address the challenge of dealing with the “squeaky wheel” in your organization. A squeaky wheel is a person or group that is constantly complaining or acting out. How much time and energy do we commit to greasing the wheel? His suggestion was that you grease it once and if it continues to squeak you ignore it. Most organizations spend too much time and energy on the squeaky wheel to the detriment of the rest of the team. They do so at their peril.

It reminded me of the people I have counseled over the years regarding their finances. The tendency is to focus on addressing the noisiest creditor and neglecting the quieter ones. We confuse our priorities when we pay the noisy unsecured creditor and fail to address the mortgage or car payment. I use the analogy of the patient who stubs his toe in the Doctor’s office after receiving news of a brain tumor. The throbbing toe is loud and immediate, but it can’t be the priority. Don’t let the squeaky wheel set your financial priorities. Seek wise counsel.