A few weeks ago I was reading through a leadership blog and the word Productive Paranoia jumped out at me. This word struck a chord with me and I decided to investigate and find the source. Jim Collins in his book “Great By Choice” describes a triad of core behaviors that is central to successful leaders and organizations. He describes how fanatic discipline, empirical creativity, and productive paranoia achieve results in chaotic and uncertain environments. This was the perfect resource to help me navigate through a letter I had received about my cochlear implant and sent me into a tizzy.
Productive Paranoia is described as taking effective action as a result of uncertainty. The letter I had received indicated that there was a voluntary corrective action for the CI device. The letter stated that there was a small percentage effected, however, this kicked in my productive paranoia.
It was encouraging to read and find out that paranoid behavior is enormously functional if fear (or my tizzy) is channeled into extensive preparation and calm, clearheaded action. It is impossible to predict the future, but taking something unknown can be channeled into a productive path.
What did I do with my productive paranoia?
- Joined a closed Facebook group for CI recipients. After joining, I was able to read posts from others who also received the letter. A majority of CI recipients reported no problems after an extended period of time and also had celebrations of great success since receiving a cochlear implant.
- Reached out to my AuD peeps with CI’s for strength and encouragement
- Took the time to write down questions and find out more information. I was able to get my questions answered by my surgeon, audiologist and the AB clinical specialist. This increased my own trust in my CI team and AB patient care.
- Reflect and pray. I have faith in a great God that is in control and will help navigate the curveballs of life. I received a daily motivation from James 1:12 that said “Blessed is the one who endures trials”. I needed this reminder during my curveball moment on my cochlear implant journey.
- Attended my scheduled 3 month follow up CI appointment at Ohio State Medical. My productive paranoia was channeled back to certainty during this appointment. Reconfirming that I am ROCKING the cochlear implant is JOYFUL. Booth testing and speech discrimination testing revealed a significant increase in my ability to understand with the CI. Threshold testing was optimal for the CI. I am energized to listen with the new mappings and continue to improve.
What did MY productive paranoia do for me? This curveball actually strengthened my cochlear implant decision. The letter, the productive paranoia, the questions, the testing; all channeled me to a path to choose JOY. I have found JOY in my improved bionic hearing over the past 3 months. I have found JOY in hearing the robins sing after getting a new program in my cochlear implant. I have found JOY in hearing with less effort. I have found JOY in Bionic Hearing.
I wrote this blog before the national emergency was announced and schools were closed in Ohio for the coronavirus. Whether the main curveball or uncertainty in your life is Coronavirus or you are you experiencing another; how will you refocus the Productive Paranoia to take effective action? In the end, I hope that your curveball will strengthen you and you will choose JOY for all that you have been gifted.