S2E4: Jude Jennison reads ‘Leading Through Uncertainty’ Stress and Overwhelm
Chapter 4 of my book Leading Through Uncertainty starts with a story about how I was face down in mud with concussion, in a place of stress and overwhelm without support. It explores how we need to take personal responsibility for our own stress level as well as pay attention to those in our team and organisation who may feel unsupported and may be struggling.
It includes a section written by Susan Gee of Yorkshire Water. It starts with my story:
Lying face down in a muddy pool of six inch deep water, my head was spinning and pounding. I heard the sound of someone hammering in the distance.
“Can you hear that banging?” I asked my husband, Paul, who stood beside me. “Is someone building a house?”
“No, I can’t hear anything,” he replied.
“I think I’m concussed,” I said.
“Don’t be silly,” Paul said, as he held out his hand and helped me get to my feet. I had asked Paul for help as I was struggling to get Kalle in and out of the field. The livery yard where she was kept had moved her to a new field where the gateway was made out of electric fence tape and the ground was waterlogged and deep in muddy water. The only way in and out of the field was to open the live electric gate in one hand, lead Kalle through with the other hand, turn round and hook the gate closed again. When the electric tape touched the wet ground, it sparked with a loud crack, causing Kalle to jump back in fear.
When you know what you are doing, it’s a relatively simple manoeuvre to execute, but I was new to this. Everything was uncertain. I had to navigate a pool of muddy water, two metres wide by two metres long, leading a horse with one hand and holding sparking electric tape in the other. The potential risk to our safety was high. In fact, Kalle had already electrocuted us both only a couple of weeks earlier by touching the electric fence while I was leading her. She had reared up and left me shaking in fear. I was doing my utmost not to repeat the experience.
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