YOU CAN’T CHANGE THE PAST…BUT YOU CAN CHANGE THE ENDING
That’s a variation on a C.S. Lewis thought. I like it because of its universal application. That means it applies to all of us and all of our actions…beginning right now.
If you don’t want to be impacted by what follows, don’t read any further. Because, because once you read more about what C.S. (That what his friends call him.) meant, it may come to your thoughts when you least expect it. Hmm. A taunt or a friendly curse. (Yes, there are friendly curses. I just made them up. So, there.)
“You can’t change your past.” And, if you spend too much time looking backward, you’ll miss your present and your future. A quick look back for learning purposes can be very productive though. You might recognize what was in your control and what wasn’t in your control. Things that were not in your control may offer insight and perspective that can lead to better execution, better anticipation and “better” outcomes.
“But you can change the ending.” As I have shared previously, it is the sum of the choices you make that make up who you are. You have a lot choices ahead of you. If you are a Supervisor, Manager, or Owner your next choices may involve the people who report to you. Let’s presume, from your first interaction, that you set people up to succeed. Let’s then presume you make a point of being consistently consistent as you define what good looks like. And then, a person falls short or even fails at a task. One of the things you might do is “catch the person as they fall”. Why did it happen? Why? There is a spectrum across which you might test things. Was it “a don’t care attitude” or was it because of incomplete knowledge to perform successfully?
The workforce is changing and talent is presenting themselves with less preparation and experience. You may have to teach, train and shape “business aptitudes” to a greater degree than ever before. Your decision to hire them says they are an investment. And, if they are an investment, you keep the good ones and let the “not good investments” go.
When you recognize what was missing that might have contributed to their having fallen short, you have an opportunity to demonstrate you see value and respect for their potential. They will recognize it and, the majority, will strive to prove their worth. And that is “changing their ending and your ending as well.
Trust me, if you recognize that you can change “endings”, you will smile more and sleep more peacefully.