Red Flags are signs that too many times we ignore. They are not literal like a stop sign. They are subtle indicators, things we sense intuitively, like facial communication. A Red Flag can be very strong or very weak, but more often than not, we only recognize it after the fact.
Good managers see Red Flags in the behavior of their employees; doctors see Red Flags in their patients symptoms, and the list goes on. But these are trained professionals. It is their job to assemble information to act on and learning how to notice subtle signals as a freeway to success.
Even those people often miss the same kind of signals when they are sent from everyday interactions with acquaintances, business associates or while waiting in line at the bank.
Just the other day a young man was arrested because he shot at another driver as they waited at a stop light. He said he had to respond because he could see the man in the other car was waving a gun around.
To him, that was a Red Flag! Time to take preemptive action! Shoot first, don't wait around until you become the victim.
Of course in time he will be asked if the thought occurred to him that the gun might have been a toy. Or maybe he mistook the thing in the other driver's hand as a gun; maybe it was a garage door opener?
The incident became a national news story when the shooting victim was identified as George Zimmerman, the famous self appointed neighborhood wannabe security guard who killed a young, unarmed black man who was prowling around in the dark shadows near his home.
But my point is, Red Flags are important, but generally something to be internalized, not acted upon extemporaneously with outright violence and mayhem. Red Flags can be used to stimulate further investigation and exploration, but they are not the same as Green Flags. Ask George Bush....