Someone Else’s Problem
I have had many conversations as Coach that surprised me – one of them was with the CEO of a small company regarding a business issue they were experiencing. When challenged, their flat claim that there was nothing they could do about it. They did not like it when I reflected back to them that it was a really interesting thing for the leader of an organization to state.
None of us are immune from not owning our results.
I think most of us have had the experience of working inside an organization and blaming it for how things go. I know I have. ‘The management did not understand what we were trying to do, did not provide the resources needed to make it happen’ etcetera.
Seen from another angle, I was not creating the results that I wanted or said I was committed to. A natural human response is frustration and anger. In an organization we can allow ourselves to be ‘right’ and victim to the organization by blaming the organization for how things have gone.
They ‘own’ how we have performed is the story.
Now Who’s Responsible?
Transplant yourself into the position of entrepreneur – especially solo entrepreneur. Now what do you do when things do not go the way you want them to? When you do not create the results you are committed to? Where do you put that frustration and anger? Unless you get creative with the outside world so you can blame it, a typical way for things to go is to blame yourself.
Getting caught in this trap saps enthusiasm, energy, joy and drives up whatever strategies we have developed through our lives to feel better about ourselves. Often this shows up as ‘must work harder!’ and before you know it your dream of freedom through having your own enterprise is turning into a nightmare of catching up, not taking breaks or holidays, living from some variation of – ‘this will only work if I work more!’. So much for the freedom of the entrepreneur!
The Ownership Plan
Here is a 5 step plan to keep you out of reaction and in the inspired action that will actually create the results you want:
- Get your thoughts and feelings about how things have gone out of your body and your mind! Get a clean sheet of paper and fill it with all the anger, frustration, blame, nastiness that you can muster to get all of the emotion expressed. Just let it flow until there is nothing left. No one is ever going to see this paper except you. Give yourself full permission to vent it all.
- Consider that not generating a desired result is just that – not generating a desired result. What were you playing for? What did you generate? What is the gap? Get clear on just the facts. Note: If someone apart from you cannot measure it, it is not a fact.
- Take a 5 minute break to just relax, breathe and be.
- Now, considering the result(s) you want to create – what is next? What are the next actions you can take that will move you towards the results that you want?
- Take the next action.
And – take a dose of Vitamin S: GET SUPPORT!!!!
Having someone or a group to share your experience with is really important. Someone to help normalize the experience (we have all missed creating what we intended at some point – if not a lot of points!), help you get clear on what is next and help you get ‘outside of your box’. Someone who is going to come to your pity party might be fun for a while, but if all you do is end up agreeing whose fault it is that things have gone as they have gone – you will just stay where you are.
Someone who is willing to reflect how great you are and support you in keeping going no matter what will make all the difference!
And if you really want to accelerate your results – working with a Coach can be magical!
Getting Past ‘Fault’
Not creating the results you want is ‘not your fault’ (or indeed anyones fault; like ‘success’ or ‘failure’, ‘fault’ is just another story…) – it is simply not creating the results you want. Allow your feelings and humanity. Write it out – put on loud music and dance that stuff out of your system – go beat up a pillow – whatever works for you. Refrain from blaming yourself, others, the weather etc… (which puts the cause for your results outside of yourself). Determine what is next and do that and get supported!
This is all part of ownership. What you own you have power over. Your results and the life that you want are, believe me, something you really want to own!
In my next post I will be talking about work and play, and how us creating them as separate things holds us back from having a truly delicious life.
Clemens Rettich is a co-founder and director of Business for Business Networks. Clemens is a business advisor, author, speaker and trainer. His practice focuses on old-economy businesses and facilitating succession and exit strategies for their owners.