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‘Back in the day,’ homes had fuse boxes instead of the circuit breaker panels we have now. When a fuse burned out, it was protecting the house from the risk of a fire. Each circuit was designed for a certain amount of current. The problem with this system was higher current created more heat, and more heat could start a fire. So, they put fuses in that were designed to burn out before the wire would get hot enough to be dangerous.

One of my favorite phrases is everything is ‘good and bad’, and this is indeed the case because an immediate solution for a burned-out fuse was to put a penny in its place until the owner could go to the hardware store and replace it with an actual fuse. The problem was all too often people would forget they put the penny in the fuse box and leave it long term instead of replacing it quickly by installing a correct fuse. Back then, pennies were made of actual copper, and they would keep the ‘juice’ flowing at all times. When an overloaded circuit became overheated, there was nothing to stop the heat from continuing to rise and eventually start a fire. An untold number of house fires was started before modern circuit panels replaced them.

Many times, coaches think something is not that big of a deal, and either doesn’t want to deal with it or believe it will go away. We did not stick pennies in the fuse box at North. I read this analogy a few months ago in an article about the fall of Enron. The books were ‘cooked’ years before the public knew about the accounting issues. They kept finding ways to put Band-Aids on the problems, and eventually, it caught up to them. We do not win every game just like everyone reading this book does not, but everyone can do the extra, go to the proverbial hardware store, and address issues head-on before they become a crisis we could have avoided.

What leaders of any organization have to do is determine what open hand or close-fisted for them is. As you can gather, for me, most things are closed- fisted in our program, especially anything that relates to discipline. Our creed is our core values defined, and we will live them daily. All we have to ask ourselves is, ‘does this represent our values, or are we sticking a penny in a fuse box and letting something slide that will bite us?

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