The question parallels my own framework of, “I am willing to accept the level of success (excellence?) that I derive from a laser focus on the same…in the hours after I drop my girls off at school and before I pick them up again.” After I pick them up, I go into what I call “maintenance mode.” In our 24/7 world and in particular as a real estate agent, I can’t reasonably expect my clients to wait until the next day after 4 PM. I make the calls I need to for contractual reasons, if a client has an urgent need, etc. But I hold off on generating new business, extra work, etc.
For me, being an excellent dad is a primary goal. I believe I am an excellent advocate and Realtor® as well; however, I am not willing to put this above being present for my daughters (as a rule).
A friend asked me for reading recommendations recently. She’s recently returned to the entrepreneur world.
There were two books that immediately came to mind. Seth Godin’s Linchpin, on which I have modeled much of my efforts (one need only read the posts on this blog to see how deeply his philosophy molds mine).
The other was Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich. This book also profoundly impacted me. His book is a study of the uber wealthy and the mindset that aided them in achieving this wealth. One takeaway, and the reason for this post, is that the folks he studied all had an intense and sole focus on SUCCESS. They were driven to achieve their goal and would not be stopped.
They were driven to this goal to the detriment of relationships with their children (amongst others). Reading this made me realize that I am not interested in massive success, if that means my children don’t know or resent me.
I spend a lot of time in my real estate business putting information out there. If you follow me, you know I’m almost daily putting out market stats, average values, talking about trends, giving advice, etc.
When I read this statement in Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s Antifragile, I was metaphorically (and possibly literally) rocked.
Marketing beyond information is insecurity.
It articulates a core mantra I have; that is, “If my marketing as I define my actions – that being advocacy through information and education – doesn’t work to maintain and build my business, I will do something different.”
I rarely talk about my sales metrics, volume, success in negotiation of deals. To me, those aren’t what this is about for me. It’s about helping folks make informed decisions, stepping back and letting them make the actual decision.
In his text, he speaks about a zero day being a day in which you didn’t make an effort to advance your personal goals (paraphrased). If you find yourself at 11:55 PM one night, not having done anything you’d qualify as advancing a goal, then get it done.
“I begin to speak only when I’m certain what I’ll say isn’t better left unsaid.” – Plutarch
When I was a young NCO, first leading Airmen, I used to practice a framework of sorts. Whenever I heard bad news, I would internally ask myself, “Will this matter in 5 minutes? 5 hours? 5 days?”
Externally, I kept my composure while asking this question, then I would respond as I felt the situation dictated, or not if I felt that was the best response. It had it’s pros (a reputation as unflappable) and cons (one of my Airman observed once – quite angrily) that I was a “damn robot!”
In our social media driven, instant communication world, do you have a framework?
We all make mistakes. We are but human. When we do, I think the three steps above are the starting point for addressing the mistake and trying to rebuild the damaged trust.
I know that when I make a mistake, for me #3 – forgive yourself – is the hardest. I often cannot move past a mistake mentally unless the person against whom I have transgressed offers forgiveness or at least acknowledgement that I offered an apology.
From a business perspective, I would offer that there is a step 4. Actually, as I type this I realize this is both a personal and business step (given the nature of this blog, I automatically started to step through a business process / checklist). That is: figure out how to prevent such an error as caused the mistake from happening again.
As a businessperson, maybe this evaluating the process you were going through and adding a step to a checklist. As a human, this is engaging in introspection and perhaps asking yourself, “How did I wrong this person? Is this something I can change about myself or the way I conduct myself?”
I would offer that the very concept that spawned this blog – the 10th man concept – is itself a process aimed at preventing errors. Essentially, the job of the 10th man in an organization is to argue against the boss’ decisions, regardless of how they really feel about it. In this process, the thought is that it enables the boss make better decisions.
I don’t offer definitive answers here, only food for thought from one imperfect human.