What would your personal story look like if you went away, permanently, and left someone else to sort through things and figure out how and what you did as a manager, leader, spouse, or parent?
Is your leadership creating the outcomes and results you intended?
In my consulting days, I often worked for the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation). The assignments involved going and mopping up after a bank failed. I have had a lot of experience looking at banks and businesses that failed. As a person who was asked to act in a legal receivership capacity, I got to see a lot of deals that went bad.
In my situation, I was combing over the records of failed banks. My team and I reviewed files from bank customers who may have been involved in creating “less than stellar results.”
Usually, the loss is not sudden, but rather a series of events. Some are justifiable as ‘economic’ factors or ‘market conditions,’ but others are purely spawned by ‘operator error’ or ‘pilot error’ if you will.
In business, it is often easy to piece together the back-story. Legal documents and work papers often tell those stories. Even with that knowledge though, as told by the paper trails, one is often left to ask why? Why did that executive choose that path? Why that choice? How did the Board come to that conclusion? What was going on that drove the leadership decision-making process in that direction? Which values were being considered or ignored?
For the moment, I will take greed, corruption, and fraud off the table. I am not even talking about those obvious lapses in human character. I am talking about decisions made in good faith that ultimately lead to a disaster.
So if that is the business side of the question, what about our personal management and leadership roles? Your communities or families; your tribes? Our marriages and our children? With families, there is usually not an administrative, legal receiver-like individual arrangement. Oh yes, divorce courts have influence, but I mean a forensic review into the hearts and minds of those we say we love. What if there was a moment when those people spoke and said “here’s the deal; here’s what has happened and is still happening.”
Would your score look the way you meant it to? Would the feedback be something you could be proud of?
We’re talking about leaving a legacy here. If all of the day-by-day effort you put in to achieve something went for nothing, how would you feel about other people looking at that and passing judgment? You know what you meant to be doing, but was it the right thing?
There is always time to make a change. Here are a few ideas about where to start:
- Evaluate – make your own evaluation with this thought in mind – what is the assessment?
- Adjust – make the changes you decide are not keeping you on course.
- Change – make the move to do something different.
Don’t agree to live by chance. Instead, operate by choice. Choice v. chance is a big factor. Is what you are about to do something intentional that serves the greater good in your life? Or is it just an exercise at burning daylight?
Pretty soon there won’t be any extra days to make the big changes you meant to be doing.
Perhaps today is a good day to start.
If you are wondering how to answer this question in your life, consider hiring a coach.