Life is not static. There are things within and beyond our control. It can be in our personal lives, team or organizations. Something will go wrong at some point. I’ve started sharing some of the lessons I learned or was reminded when my blog crashed not too long ago. In another post I share about what to do when things fall apart. I alluded to how it can be a perfect opportunity for adjustments as well as an important first step to recovery. (You can read “When Things Fall Apart” here) I am positive that, like me, you know what it is to operate in your strengths, shortcomings and downright “clueless”.
There are numerous factors that led to the blog crashing but this one is one of the biggest reasons – clueless! I got to a place of limited knowledge and decided to push ahead anyway. I had one of those moments where I knew that what I was about to do was going to bring bad results but I did it anyway! Be it in your personal life or role as a leader there are times you know that the only thing you’re going to achieve with a decision or action you’re about to make is nothing but a mess of note. I think this behavior is what gave birth to the axiom, “You’ve made your bed now lie in it!”
In the next decision or action in your personal life or role as a leader choose to listen to what some call, “the voice of reason”. When you know for sure that what you have is a mess in the making, stop! It’s that simple! You don’t have to learn everything from a colossal mess! It is not necessary for you to be a failure of note to learn something significant and be a better leader, team or organization. You don’t have to “fail forward” to move forward. You can move ahead without having to work your failure into a stepping stone! Use your failures but don’t create them when you don’t have to! Your opinion alone can be your demise. When you are not sure or do not know, avoid making decisions on your own.
I love it when I know that I don’t know. Knowing that you do not know is the first step to cure your ignorance! When you know that you do not know and know there is someone who knows it is folly to continue in ignorance. You need this reminder: seek help from those who know when you don’t know! Enlist skills from other people or organizations where you have limitations. It can prove more cost effective to outsource than messing up and then calling someone else who knows better to fix things. Seek out a forgotten catalyst for learning and success. Google. Read. If you cannot afford to hire someone, do your homework well. One of leaders’ worst enemies is nurtured ignorance!
illustration - Orin Zebest, flickr (cc)
What other ways do we bring trouble on ourselves? Any other thoughts?