Start Fresh; Don’t Fix
Toddlers who stumble and fall aren’t broken; they need practice. Fixing is a backward-facing activity that centers on mistakes and weaknesses. Move forward; don’t fix.
Leaders grow leaders. Developing isn’t fixing. Growth suggests they aren’t there, yet. Can you live with people who haven’t arrived? Can you accept people who aren’t as skilled as you? Damn, they’re frustrating. (Sarcasm intended)
Start fresh; don’t fix.
- How would you handle this relationship if this was its beginning point?
- How can you address this situation as if you just stepped in?
- If this moment was the beginning point, what would you do?
- Is it possible to move forward without bringing up the past?
- What’s the next step regardless of the past?
Imagine you were hired today. What would you do?
Baggage from the past distracts, drains, and invites defensiveness. Leave baggage at the station if:
- It’s been acknowledged.
- There’s forward movement.
Visit past weaknesses, mistakes, and short-falls, occasionally, but don’t camp there. Your view of their past failure or short-coming isn’t personal, it’s developmental. However, they feel pain when you bring it up. Is it time to let it go?
Some frailties are so distracting they prevent forward movement. Deal with them. But, when things are getting better, leave the baggage at the station.
High potential question:
How can we move forward from this point? I chose “we” to make you a participant not a fixer.
The first questions:
- Are they worth it from an organizational perspective?
- What’s their potential?
- Are they currently contributing?
- Is their short-coming preventing forward movement?
If you find satisfactory answers to these questions, start fresh. Pick them up. Help them take next steps. Give room for growth. Most growth is barely perceptible. Allow time and create environments where people grow.
I’m suggesting “Start Fresh” environments foster growth. What environments helped you grow?
Dan, the growth, my personal growth, in any particular environment depends on a lot of factors. I usually grow best when I am challenged, when I stumble. Then I have to pick myself up, look at the situation honestly, evaluate my/ our shortcoming, devise a plan to go forward.
But, I can also say that i learn when I have to start over. The hardest part here is the beginning. We have to consciously choose to let go of whatever it is we have been trying to fix, call it a loss, and change direction.
People rarely want to let go, even if its uncomfortable. I know that Einstein was speaking on a grander scale, but his quote applies here as well.. “Insanity is doing the same things over and over and expecting different results.”
So, I have to eventually decide if fixing is really going to move forward, or am I just being insane…
If my sanity is in question, then its well past time to move to something else.
Thank you Martina. As I read, I thought how starting again facilitates growth. … You face challenges – stumble — pick yourself up ….
Growth requires starting again. Perhaps the question is “how do we create ‘starting again’ environments?
Always a pleasure
Agrred, Dan. We have to create environments in which individuals feel safe in “starting over.” This can be a major shift in mindset for whole organizations.
Thank you for this post, especially the reminder that most growth is barely perceptible! My team are working on our goals. How far we’ve come since this time last year but we didn’t feel it when we were at that close perspective. A year both flies and crawls by: it’s amazing.
Thank you Catie. Yes, it’s great to look back over a year and realize you’ve come a long way. Sometimes I look at a week or month and wonder where the heck are we going. Here’s to continued growth.
I know when I first started in my professional organizaiton, I was so shy and found that public speaking was really hard. Within that organization they fostered the “Start Fresh” attitude. The organization built my confidence and self esteem level up so that I could become a chapter leader as well as speak in front of 300 people at a time. I really belive in building people up and not tearing them down.
Thanks Ava. The combination of your drive, untapped potential, and a growing environment is working for you. Very encouraging.
Here’s to continue success
Practice, we are talking about practice! Dan know you love basketball so I hope when you read that you heard Allen Iverson’s voice!
This just in……..not aware of anyone who is a finished product, no one. That is just not how this human condition works.
Anyone getting too big for their pants, get them on a beach, get one grain of sand, ask them to look as far as the eye can see and start counting. Tell them to get back to you when they are finished.
Hoping humiliating the arrogant will lead them to humility.
1. start every realtionship at the beginning, where else can you start?
2. Introduce myself and begin aggressive listening to access where things are at this moment.
3. Introduce myself
4. we always bring all of ourselves to every moment we experience. Hey did ya’ll ever notice we are never anywhere but right here, right now! Heard once we invented time to keep everything from seeming to be happening all at once! So whatever God is to you, you think he/she is on Eastern Standard time? Think he/she speaks English? Funny little tid-bit about consciousness and the liiusion of time and space.
5. Next step is the one directly in front of me, makes it less likely I will trip.
1. Will find out their worth as time goes
2. Sky is the limit till we find if it works or not
3. yet to be determined
4. It might be the idea is flawed and that is why it is not working as hoped.
Environment which made me grow? Almost hate saying this but it is true for me, pain is usually my best teacher.
Will sign off with something everybody has heard but bares(is that spelled right?) repeating….insanity is repeating the same thing over and over and expecting a different result! Don’t be insane!
Thanks Dan, you da man!
And for the most part, we are new and improved products as we move forward.
I like the phrase, “Aggressive listening”.
Thanks Cassie, I have to use that phrase with myself because I tend to bloviate and forget why I was designed with two ears and one mouth!
If I was meant to have two mouths and one ear I would be that way! If it is one mouth and two ears there must be a specifically, divine reason why!!!!!!! Right?
People really do tell you the most interesting things is you stop being so concerned with yourself and really listen to them.
They also tend to like you very much cause most people do not really listen to others, they listen to their own self talk about what the other person thinks about them instead. LOL Silly Wabbits!
Humans are really very very interesting.
Thanks again Cassie hope you have a great day!
Thanks Scott… concerning “not finished” … I suppose the only ones who are finished are the dead. Of course, there may be some living dead still hanging around.
Living dead!!!!! Great!
When I was in rehab my counselor was in for a treat, listening to me! LOL I was getting really deep at one moment and thinking, pondering life after death. Serious stuff for a 22 year old but I had bottomed out so it was time for some serious pondering.
I asked David if he thought there was life after death?
His response has stayed with me right up to this moment, he said, “Scott you have to figure out if there is life after birth first”!
And so it goes and David is partly responsible for who I have become today, so if you appreciate my humorous style or are repulsed, blame him, partly!
I agree with you that fixing is backward activity. It demotivates, sucks energy and create a “excuse mindset”. Start fresh is opposite that fuels energy, motivates and broaden mind. To recall one environment that helped me grow does not seem enough. All the environment that I came across helped me grow. Some environment helped me to be complacent and comfortable, some environment helped me not be complacent and comfortable. I think environment made me to think deeply to understand height and limitation of individual growth in the system. It also helped me to understand how to overcome those limitation. One thing is very clear that I learned- We create our own world through our imagination, limit our strength, create our boundary and try to justify our position. And this is the biggest mistake we make. It is true specially when we overestimate our assumption and underestimate external factors.
In fact, I think, our knowledge is not enough to make sound assumption that always work for us. There are lot of knowledge outside that we deviate and do not consider. The concept of starting fresh lies in re- working, re-looking in better perspective.
Thank you Ajay. You demonstrate an essential element of growth – The desire to grow.
Thats what I thought when I read your contribution. You grow in every environment because you want to grow.
I guess we need to think about a growth mindset as well as a high growth environments.
Best to you
I loved your initial bold statements. “Leaders grow leaders. Developing is not fixing. Growth suggests that they are n’t there, yet.”
It’s very much true when I look back to some of my close observations at the industry and educational sectors. I have seen my CEO iwho has realized his vision of making a small family owned pharma company into a big Indian MNC in a period of 3 decades with a real good quality of identifying good potential senior management staff and grooming them as Business Line Leaders & Centre heads. He banked upon inducting the proven experienced professionals and converting the work culture at the organization in a planned manner. Similarly, I have seen an educationalist, Director of the reputed B-School in Mumbai, more as a mentor for few of the subordinates by ‘leading by example’, spotting right good talents and encouraging them to prove their mettle with greater independent responsibilities.
These leaders can be termed as genius in their own fields and have the basic strength of spotting potential leaders and providing right good platforms to come out successful with their expected contributions.
Loved your distinction in terms of different kinds of leaders and that the similar genius was the strength of spotting and developing potential leaders
How awesome we would be as teachers, managers, husbands, wives and etc, if we executed on good sound knowledge. Good “stuff” but its always the execution of knowledge that gets in the way. I challenge us this year to implement and execute to move-forward. Awesome!
Reblogged this on The Other Side of Risk and commented:
This reminds us to focus more on the outcomes we want and our strengths than on our problems and barriers.
Bang on again Dan.
When people are befuddled a difficult situation and going over old ground/what went wrong/”this has happened before” etc, I often find that a phrase such as “Look, we are where we are, let’s move forward from here” usually helps people to focus on dealing with the issue and what action can be taken. Or when people are playing the blame game, I’ll say something like “How does this help us?”
Love your “Leave the baggage at the station” analogy, I’m sure I’ll use it some time.
“Fixing problems” often creates new and sometimes bigger problems. As you suggest, the challenge is to re-imagine the future.
It’s funny how timely is this post to me. I was asked today to come back to a previous department to provide some needed help for the next several months. Funny thing is that I was “kicked” out of the department by the previous manager.
I have only been in 1 professional environment so far (a very chaotic one), and I have found out that is not really the environment that teaches me the most, rather it is more about me and setting the time to think and reflect about what’s going on.
Yes the environment can be restricting or empowering, but in the end it boiled down to me figuring out what work better for myself and how I could interact better with that environment.
“Fixing problems” to me sounds more like a band-aid. Changing thinking style has a longer lasting effect.
The environment will have an effect on me, but it doesn’t define me.