Growing from Messing Up
Taking on a new career and building a business up from zero is a daunting task under any circumstances. Doing it after a thirty year career in a completely different industry after building a company with a best in class reputation and gold standard financial performance requires a paradigm shift...or a strait jacket.
And, as I wend my through such a shift, I am learning some surprising things.
First, a strait jacket doesn't help. There is a power and simplicity in seeing things that are driving me crazy. In my first career as a business owner, I made decisions all day long. Customers were asking me questions about our contracts. At times, they required modifications. At times, I made them. At times, I said no. They asked me to do things outside the scope of our contract. More decisions.
Some employees asked for things outside of our employee handbook. More decisions. And there were delivery issues to the customers that required out of the box solutions. More decisions.
To the extent that one can qualify decisions as being "good" or "bad", I screwed some up. I would take back a few, if I could. There were employees I let go for the wrong reasons. There were those I hung on to way too long. There were emotional decisions I made. Maybe they should have been made through cold logic. There were appeasements to customers who had no interest in bettering the relationship.
The lesson I take away is the power of vulnerability.
In my new career as a business coach, I have met mentor coaches who weighed 90 pounds and looked like Sister Betrille (for you millennials, that was The Flying Nun, as portrayed by the sweet faced Sally Field) without the Habit, but filled a room with power, just by being who they were. Just by walking in, admitting they never ran a business, had a business, or had a significant job, but unloading bombshell observations of the dynamics of a group of listeners.
These people walk into a room emitting vulnerability, but fill a room with power. To me, it defies logic.
I have always equated swagger with power. Sometimes it can be off-putting. I have always gone for a more humble approach. But I have never found power from admitting my mistakes.
I had always admitted my mistakes sheepishly. Asking forgiveness.
The truth is, the power in making mistakes, is that those who make them are unafraid to make decisions. Able to be bold in trying new solutions. Confident in their thoughts to think of new ways to tackle issues. I am not talking about reckless decision making, like putting your company profits on a roulette number. I am talking about stepping out.
Where I have connected with clients and potential clients as a business coach has been the shared things I have struggled with, or screwed up. People want validation that their mistakes or "take backs" can be forgiven. And have happened to others. And can be overcome.
People want to be around other successful people, but want the human connection of knowing that those people screw up like everyone else, and have the presence and confidence to be willing to continue to try and fail. to fall and rise again.
And the biggest power is the ability to be able to laugh about your mistakes. I hope I never will be able to laugh about letting an employee go for the wrong reasons, but the more I can look back and laugh at some of the other well intentioned but wrong headed decisions I made, the more strength I will draw.
So what is making me crazy about my career shift? The perceptions I have had about leadership, power and communication being turned upside down.
Do you want to explore your business modus operandi? Would looking at your business and business approach from new angles benefit you? Would questions about your business empower you to take on new solutions?
Please call me at 412 979 5367 to schedule a sample one hour growth session.
Are you ready to grow?