In his book, The Five Temptations of a CEO, Patrick Lencioni makes a brilliant point about how easy it is to focus on the wrong things.

In an old episode of the I Love Lucy show, Ricky comes home to find Lucy crawling around the living room on all fours. When he asks her what she’s doing she explains that she has lost her earrings.

“You lost your earrings in the living room?” Ricky asks.

Lucy replies, “No, I lost them in the bedroom—but the light is so much better out here.”

In a classic “I Love Lucy” moment, Lucy’s on her hands and knees in the living room, hunting for earrings she misplaced in the bedroom. Why? The living room’s brighter. It’s a laugh-out-loud scene that’s more than just comedy—it’s a mirror to our own quirks in problem-solving.

This is classic misdirection. We often tackle problems where it’s easiest to look, not where the real issue lies. It’s like searching for the car keys under the streetlight—not because you dropped them there, but because that’s where you can see.

This begs a question: How often do we opt for the well-lit path in our quest for solutions, ignoring the darker, perhaps more fruitful areas? Lucy’s living room search is a comedic nudge to reconsider where we’re looking for our ‘lost earrings.’ It’s about diving into the shadows to find real answers, stepping out of the comfort zone of the familiar light.

Stephen Boudreau serves as VP of Brand & Community at Virtuous Software. For over two decades, he has helped nonprofits leverage the digital space to grow their impact. To that end, Stephen co-founded RaiseDonors, a platform that provides nonprofits with technology and experiences that remove barriers to successful online fundraising. He is an avid (but aging) soccer player, audiobook enthusiast, and the heavily-disputed UNO champion of his household.

Copyright ©2024 Stephen Boudreau.