Oprah Winfrey once said that in order to accomplish anything, we must be willing to let go of certain things.
I remember when I listened to Oprah’s words on the 360 degree camera where I worked for many years, as she spoke with my boss in 2011. I was at the time in the middle of my career in the financial industry but one thing that I felt was important to always remember, was that when things went wrong, I was the reason.
My boss told me it was a motivational and inspirational program that allowed me to reflect on the past year. He also told me that the staff that worked in the program, had had their own perspective. The way I saw it, the staff were telling me what was right and wrong, and for those who were getting it wrong, we questioned the program and put those people in our wheel mesh.
We all unknowingly were participating in a system designed to take advantage of people and trick them into trusting the system instead of taking responsibility. Let me get this clear, I love a challenge!
There are many people who say “Nobody told you that!” I don’t agree until I hear someone tell me to my face that it was my responsibility. I can’t tell you how often I heard the infamous ‘you’ that was in my boss’ language, saying that “I’m not responsible for things going wrong” with my fellow staff every time any one of them brought something wrong.
I was like that this staff group helped me take the opportunity to really discover who I was, and I measure that by the fact that I became the first person in my new position to be given the opportunity to be a role model and a coach to my group. I took responsibility for the bad weeks and the poor performance of one of my team members.
I had a short term warehouse in preference to a 3 floor processing centre because I wanted to have more people stating that they=re not happy with the product. Even at that time they continued to say that they were unhappy and they had to work harder every day to make things less of a problem etc.
I ignored that and when the “not happy” people were available I remained diligent and efficient. I kept working with the people who wanted me to work harder. They didn’t trust me either but I kept doing what I said I would do. I found some solutions for them to move from zero and stuck to the game plan day in day out.
I noticed that I would be the first person to turn up at work, if things didn’t go according to plan. I was the person that would get employees to do something that needed a lot more than my say that their job was. When my staff didn’t succeed, I felt the stress and frustration.
Well that was the pattern I was carrying on as a leader!
I have been guilty of this for many years and how it started with me thinking that nobody cared about my feeling. I came to the conclusion that nobody seemed to care enough about what I was going through, so I stopped caring about it.
I began asking other leaders what the use they didn’t care about my comfort rate. Who said it was OK to not follow my direction at the time. Who also said that they would follow my lead and not do something that they themselves would be working on.
That is where I began to think that I was fooling myself at the same time, because I did believe that they would see an immediate benefit from my leadership.
It was as a result of that question that I have developed to the habit of now saying “I wouldn’t do… if I were you.” By coming across the truth in the feedback, I started taking responsibility for my not achieving results.
By understanding my own situation, I became aware that what I was doing wasn’t working. I had set myself up mentally to make me play the role of the victim. It then became clear that my role was to choose to NOT let myself get there, but to keep at it until I did.
I was acutely aware I was not lymphilibrium positive. Myarms were making all kinds of strange buttons to Fail more, because I didn’t care too much for what happened on my road.
I could see possibilities of derailing this all simply by choosing not to wasting more time exhaustively reality by imagining it as too hard. You’re the boss here, why does it get any harder than dealing with real life. Easy now, the only person has ever been in this position is you.
I thought for a moment about how to move the focus away from me to decide this task or set of tasks down to one particular direction, that could be achieved.
I then had a brilliant idea.
I chose the direction that I then remembered had a strong focus and ownership where I could guarantee not to fail. All the while taking full responsibility for all of my actions, something that I will never regret.