One blog that I enjoy reading and always get something useful out of is Hot Points by Go Daddy‘s founder and president Bob Parsons (if you’re not that net saavy, Go Daddy isn’t about anything kinky, but is one of the net’s premier domain name registrars).
I was reading his article about dealing with problems when it made me remember one of our coaching sessions (if you coached then, you’ll know when I’m talking about). To protect the innocent and not so innocent all names and scene details will be glossed over.
A particular problem was caused by a particular person and we coaches retreated to our little corner during the break and started bitching about it (yes, coaches bitch too!). Boy, I’ll have to admit, it was guilty fun. We were complaining and poking fun of the whole situation and I was totally wallowing in it.
Until one of the coaches piped in, “So what do we do about it?”
And it jolted me right out of the victim role I was playing. More than jolted, I was virtually kicked on my ass, and immediately impressed and grateful with the coach who had said that. Which brings me to the points in Bob’s article which I want to highlight:
I realized that it was important to keep my mind in the present moment.
I decided not to worry one bit about the consequences of the outage, but instead to stay in the moment. I resisted the temptation to visit the past and waste time with non-productive things like blaming anyone for the problem. I also resisted thinking about the future and worrying about the consequences of the crash. Neither of these things would get the problem handled. Instead, I resolved to think and do only those things that would get us back online.
What my people really needed was a leader.
It occurred to me that dealing with something as serious as this system outage appeared to be â€” and would be â€” a heck of a leadership test. So I made it my goal to be positive, upbeat and a man of action â€“ and do whatever it took to get the servers back on line quickly. My people all felt terrible over the failure. What the company needed now was a leader. I resolved to step up and do everything possible to fulfill that role.
Anthony Robbins is fond of saying that a leader first sees things exactly as they are, not better nor worst, then they envision things becoming better than they are and bring themselves and everyone else there.
I had been so content on complaining about the whole situation that I hadn’t bothered to see how things could be better than they were. By not owning the problem and taking responsibility, I had become part of the problem and none of the solution.
So, special thanks to that coach who reminded me of a very valuable lesson that day.
And now, I want to pay it forward and be that coach for you. Let me ask you:
1) Is there any area in your life right now that you’re facing problems in which you’ve felt you weren’t in control of or have not been doing anything about?
2) What is something you could do immediately to help solve the problem or make the situation better?
3) Can it be done immediately under 2 minutes? If yes, do it now!
4) If it needs more time, schedule a time in to do it.
5) Have fun knowing you’re making yourself part of the solution, instead of the problem.