I’m very used to things going my way.  After all, clients hire me to solve the problems they don’t want to talk about.  My, our, job is to ferret through the excuses and find the real problem, offering up solutions in a way that makes the client think they stumbled upon it on their own.  We are agents of change.  But, what if a mistake is made?

What is the proper way to handle personal error.  Not an error of a team member, or the client.  The mistake is personal and it truly belongs to me.  A man I very much admire, said, “Bad news doesn’t get better with time.”

I saw it coming, raised concern that fell on deaf ears.  I changed the path, cleared many hurdles and saw no improvement.  Extra help arrived, scope was changed to improve the outcome, but the end was already written, so I smiled and continued as if everything was good.

Of course the deadline was compromised and I could only look at myself as the cause.  Man, did that hurt.  I own it.  There’s no deflection or spin that will change the truth.

I’m a professional, so I accept adversity with a smile and dive into the remedy.  New deadline, second chance, go overboard with communication, white board full of notes and progress goals, issues, assignments.  Regular meetings, and sequestered resources.  Everything is done like clockwork and the success feels good.

Hey, what’s that burn spot on my butt!!  You know darn well that even though things turned out, I took a hit with my peers.  Internally, my ego, my esteem are suffering.  Is my reputation still intact?  Do I really know what it takes to lead my clients forward?  Have I reached the point in my career where the ‘Peter Principle’ has taken hold?  There’s a fear inside that hasn’t been there since my first days in consulting.  I’ll wear this for a while, until a few more successes reassure it as unusual occurrence.

Adversity is a chance to grow.  Adversity is an opportunity to deeply review yourself.  Include those you trust most, and LISTEN (you can’t do an proper evaluation without outside help).  Don’t pass on responsibility to those who don’t deserve it.  Pick up your cross and learn the lessons adversity provides.  And don’t forget to keep smiling because one event doesn’t define who you are.

Sometimes you’re first
Sometimes you’re last
Then again you’re somewhere
In your “days of future passed”
If you can find yourself and know just where you are
Don’t let the wind turn you
You’re stronger than you think you are

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