My blogger/author/educator pal Ellen Weber has done this extraordinary post where she has asked 50 of the top rated business bloggers provocative questions. I am honored to be among the list. Check out the whole post. Here is my response to Ellen's question and a bit more on the topic:
Ellen - you asked: "If you could only garner one lesson from life to improve business most, what would that lesson be?" And the answer is also found in your post. Not only in your words, but in the effort you have demonstrated. The one lesson I would garner is that to make something happen, we need to do something - do something -- do something new, do something different, do something better, do something for longer, do something with others, do something that helps build talent and teams and relationships. It's about showing up - really showing up. That is what changes things. The extraordinary effort you have shown with this post, all the provocative questions, and your deep interest that comes through in your words is a great demonstration of the lesson. Bravo to you!
I was listening to Bob Costas' interview of Michael Phelps after he won his last Gold Medal. One of the things that Michael said that showed great perspective is that the results he got are the ones he prepared for. That had he trained for 4 years, he might have done better on the races where he struggled. But he chose to take 2 years off and this surely impacted his outcomes. This is called ownership.
See the connection between the two thoughts? To make something happen, WE need to do something. Now. This moment. And in the next. Most of the time this something has to do with people. Management is a social act, afterall.
Always be at peace with your results. They come from what you have done and the choices you have made. Want different results? Do something different. Woulda, shoulda, coulda thinking has no place in our minds. It will cloud our judgment and affect our choices.
I will be the first to admit that this idea is not always easy to manifest. It is human to feel regret, anguish, defensiveness, and envy when things don't go as we hope. And if we can quickly get beyond these human responses and transition to another very human response - dogged determination - we will thrive and change our worlds. I think about this everyday - talking myself into a more effective action whenever possible.