At work, my team has been frustrated by decisions made out of ignorance by our leadership. The frustration I knew about and the roadblocks posed by the decisions were familiar. What wasn't clear was the source of those roadblocks. By going through the process all over again, it became obvious that the decisions were being made out of technical and market illiteracy on the part of our upper management. Up to now, I've been fighting what I thought was a marketing and political problem. Recasting the problem as one of ignorance will change my approach and hopefully bring better results.
As a parent, my progress this summer with my daughter has been fitful. She's improved in some things, but still simply will not take ownership of her life. In her mind, things just happen to her; her failures are not a product of her own actions. Meanwhile, I continue to dig her out of all the messes she creates, expecting practically nothing from her. She's just a few short years away from living on her own, either with a job or at college. If she leaves the nest with her current mindset, she's doomed to a life of failure and sadness. I knew what the problem was, but until I went through the goals process again, my motivation for demanding ownership and performance from her wasn't completely clear. It's seductive to be an easy parent when you don't confront the consequences of being permissive and enabling.
If you haven't taken a look at Brian Tracy's book, I recommend it. I've been going back to it for years and each time it adjusts my thinking and behaviors. I know it's working, too, because each time I do these reviews, I delete sections of my write up because I've achieved some of the goals I've laid out.
You can't ask for much more than that.
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