Have you ever set off a store's security alarm?
I find it to be an awkward moment. You look around with that facial expression that say's, "I swear I didn't steal anything so what do I do? Do you believe me?"
But what happens when you are the fifth person in a row to set off the alarm? You don't even stop. You don't care. This new sense of alarm denial comes from noticing that all the employees stopped paying attention after the third person set off the alarm. By the time you set off the alarm no one cares about the heavenly voice requesting you to return the item to the customer service counter, it's almost like it doesn't exist.
The same can be true for your leadership when you're always yelling, "Fire!" Setting off the alarm at the store is like a small fire. The first time people respond. The first emergency is "manageable" and fixable. However, there is a different response to multiple fires. When everything is on fire than people go to a different emotional place...they give up. Like the employees at the hardware store, people will stop responding if the alarm keeps going off.
So is your world on fire? Are alarms going off all around you? The more often you are declaring an emergency the less people around will care and the less they will respond?
As a leader, how do you measure what is a "fire" and what is not?