I’ve Failed

How many times have we said that?

How many times SHOULD we have said it outloud but didn’t?

Well, I have failed, and if you’ve read any of my “recent” blogs, you might already know it. We all know that new year’s resolutions are “destined” to be forgotten, and pushed aside. Exercise plans come and go. Expensive equipment sits in the corner of the room and either has an enormous pile of clothing on them or so much dust that we wouldn’t put clothing on them. I recently purchased a house that has a nice “Universal Home Gym” in the upstairs that was left there by the previous owner. He spent a ton of money on it, spent 6 months putting it together, then sold the house, weight machine and all. For the record, no, I do not use it either, but that is a different story. I’m not talking about your average, every day resolution, and I’m not trying to beat up on the previous owner of my house either. I’m talking about the #ONEWORD approach. #ONEWORD was supposed to be different. #ONEWORD was supposed to be revolutionary. #ONEWORD wasn’t supposed to go the way of the stereotypical new year’s resolution. Afterall, I only had to focus on ONE SINGLE WORD, right?

Well, I failed.

#CONNECT was my word. I was going to #CONNECT with myself, my family, God, and my teammates at the office. #CONNECT was going to take me to the next level of “whateverness.” #CONNECT was supposed to be my revolutionary resolution. Well I think we all see how that worked out for me. So what does this mean really? How does this effect the grand scheme of all things “leadership” or “project management” or “family life” or “spiritual life?” To be honest, it has a huge impact. If I am not connecting, I’m actually disconnecting and that is simply unacceptable. In some cases, being disconnected can push people away, even those that are closest to us.

There is hope, though. You see, we have a chance every day to right a wrong. We have the ability to try again and to start over. Sure, things at home or work may be a little difference because of a failure, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that that those differences are bad. In fact, sometimes, you get the chance to make them even better. Think of a broken bone. When you break a bone, if properly re-set, it heals and grows back together even stronger than it was before. Our communication has that opportunity too. Take a moment and look at how you can reset your communication with those around you. I encourage you to look at any failure that you’ve encountered, and try again. Even if it hurts a little (pride or otherwise), you can make it better and be stronger than you were before. Tell your team that you’ve failed and that you vow to make it better. Check youself every day and try again. Don’t let a failure get the best of you or let it destroy the team you’ve worked so hard to put together.

Get up, dust yourself off, and go!

Happy second chances, my friend!! Thank you for reading.

How have you dusted yourself off? I would love to hear your story and your comments below.

A New Resolution

Resolutions – well, ’tis the season, I guess. Have you made yours? What sort of resolutions have you made this year? Have you decided to exercise more  or maybe loose a few pounds? Both of those are extremely important and worthy of a resolution. What about vowing to quit smoking? That one is important for sure, especially if you have children. All of these are great ideas for a personal resolution, but what about professionally? Have you given any thought to that?

I’m not talking about resolving to get to work on time more or even to get there ten minutes earlier each day. Yes, these are also important especially if you are consistently late. No, I’m talking about things less tangible and outside of the boundaries of a SMART goal. I actually like the word goal better than resolution, but given the season, I’ll stick with resolution. Try these on:

  • Resolve to be more AGREEABLE. Are you a little “chippy” at the office? Do people find you hard to work with? If you can’t answer those, ask yourself if you find yourself getting into heated discussions often or find yourself getting defensive more than just once in a while. Make yourself easier to get along with. No, that doesn’t mean become a doormat.
  • Resolve to be more ACCOUNTABLE. Yep, I went there. I understand the word accountable can create an unnatural fear in the hearts of many strong people. Think about it though. Accountability isn’t about taking the blame all the time. What I’m talking about is personal accountability. Only you can make sure you are consistently taking care of your own business. When you miss the mark, and you will, take responsibility and watch the trust points start to add up.
  •  Resolve to be a LEADER. Sorry, they don’t all start with “A” even though that would have been cool. You don’t have to be in a “leadership” position to lead. Even if you are “only” a clerk in a mailroom, you can lead. I once had a coworker tell me that we could lead from the bottom. That struck a chord within me and sparked a fire deep inside that cannot be put out. Don’t let your current position make you think you can’t lead…..YOU CAN. So many great things can and will happen when you start to act like a leader. It is time to step up your game.
  • Resolve to be SMARTER. Keep yourself informed and up-to-date. What are the current trends in your field? Chances are you can attend many webinars for free or cheap. A good resource I have found is Twitter. Though much of what you will find are links to blogs like this one, there are some really great articles out there.
For myself, I am going to do all of these things and probably more. I’m going to use the “One Word” approach that many are talking about. My word is CONNECT. I will work on better connecting with my team; myself; my wife and children; and most importantly, with God. That one word encompasses everything I want to work on. I can focus on that one word and use it as my motivation. All I have to do is ask myself of what I’m doing is helping me to better connect.
 
I understand I have violated the rules of setting SMART goals, but these goals, or resolutions, are realistic and might even be considered smart after all.
 
What are you focusing on this year? I’d love to know. Please comment below and may 2014 be your best year yet!