3 Ways to Make the Most of the Past in the Future
The problem with memory is it feels reliable.
Looking back over an entire year may do more harm than good. Research shows you forget, embellish, even make up memories.**
6 problems with gazing into the distant past:
- Heavier weight to recent events.
- Exaggerate your own efforts and importance. You’re the star of the show in your memories.
- Over-emphasize negative experiences.
- Disappointment pollutes accomplishments, especially when it comes to others.
- Over-generalize reasons for successes.
- Judgments are based more on feelings than realities.
3 ways to make the most of the past in the future:
- Record the exploits of your team in a journal of remembrance every week. (52 times) Include your own exploits as well. Refuse to make a single negative entry. Just record highlights.
- Take a walk down memory lane with your team, quarterly. (Place a tickler for this meeting on 3/2/2015, right now.)
- How are we making progress?
- Where does it feel like we’re pushing ropes? What should we do?
- Which teammates are on the rise? How can we fuel their progress?
- Which teammates are stagnant, drifting, or on the decline? How can we refocus, reassign, and/or develop their talent? (Act with compassion, resolve, and the best interest of all parties.)
- What are we learning from failure? Succss?
- What does success look like three months from now, specifically, in terms of people.
- Read an entry from your journal of remembrance about each person around the table. (See #1)
- On March 2, 2015 send these questions to your team and schedule your quarterly walk down memory lane.
- Take a walk down memory lane, literally, with team members. Invite teammates on a walk to discuss their personal and professional trajectory. Identify and affirm one behavior that energizes organizational and individual progress. Do more of that.
The future is the past unless you change something now.
How can leaders make the most of the past in the future?