Are Distractions Holding You Back? &Raquo; Shutterstock 633034154 300X200 1

Sir, did you pay with a card? Hearing this being shouted in the Kroger parking lot as I put my last bag of groceries into the truck, I turn and push my buggy to the buggy return section. 

Turning back around, I hear it again, Sir, did you pay with a credit card? Here comes a clerk walking very quickly in my direction. Oh, this is the lady who helped me weigh and scan my spaghetti squash. 

I’m sorry are you talking to me?

Yes, did you use your credit card to check out?  


Well, it didn’t go through. Can you come back in and try again?

Oh sure, sorry.  

Walking back in, I realize I bagged the squash, loaded up the big water, and walked right out of Kroger without even attempting to pay at the self-checkout! It’s really evident now why they need a clerk looking over the self-checkouts. They never know when the next idiot is going to visit. Today it was me.  

Oh my, I’m so sorry, I obviously got distracted and focused on my next errand and walked right out after you helped me with the spaghetti squash.  

That’s fine; thanks for coming back in and have a great day.

Embarrassed, I started laughing as this was really, really stupid. Thankfully, I have learned from many foolish things before that it is good to be able to laugh at ourselves. We can take ourselves too seriously, especially at work. Laughter not only helps us, but it also helps those around us. The other leadership lesson is the power of focus and the negative consequences of distraction. When distracted, our full potential is left in the grocery buggy. I won’t dive into Be Quick, Don’t Hurry, but it is part of my lesson AGAIN.  

CeCe, next time I’m in Kroger, watch to ensure I pay for the groceries.     

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Joey Havens, CPA is the author of Leading with Significance. He is currently a partner with HORNE LLP a top 25 CPA firm. He previously served as managing partner of the firm from 2012 to 2021, leading more than 1,800 team members to build the Wise Firm© while passionately living out his life’s calling to help others see and reach their full potential. Prior to being named managing partner in 2012, Joey served as the managing partner of healthcare services and the managing partner of government services, respectively.

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