I was wondering what I was going to post about this week. Yesterday I was lucky, or unlucky, enough to find a topic.
I’ve been focused on my fitness this year, and I was out for my morning run and I injured my calf. This is pretty disappointing because I had set myself a goal of running five kilometers by the end of the year and I had just enough time to achieve that. Now I’ve got an injured calf and I can’t achieve my goal. I’ve had to rethink my options, my goals because, clearly, I can’t make that one.
Yesterday when I was talking to a friend about it, she said, “I can’t believe you’re so upbeat about this. I’d be devastated if something like that happened and took me completely off-track.”
That got me thinking, because that’s exactly what happens when we’re at work. Things are not perfect. There are things that happen that we can’t control. Whether it’s circumstances or decisions that are made above our pay grade, limited resources or market pressures, and we have no ability to influence them.
We don’t operate at work in a perfect world, and yet one of our responsibilities as leaders is to figure out, given those constraints, given those things that happen, what we can do. This is where looking at options, opportunities, being resourceful and staying above the line gives you so much more power and influence and control over the situation. Don’t give your power away. Don’t give up. Retain control and make good choices for yourself and your team.
For me, what am I going to do? I’m going to focus on other things that I’m still able to do. I can still do push-ups. I can still do pull-ups. I can still work on my abs. I won’t be running for a while but that’s okay. There are still things that I can do.
At work, when you have a less than perfect, a less than ideal situation, there are still things that you can do to make progress. It’s not about perfection; it’s about improvement. It’s about future focus. It’s about progress that you can continue to make towards your vision, your purpose, your goal.