Things I Wish I’d Known!

 In I Wish I'd Known, Managing Your Team

Are you a go getter?

Do you love to sink your teeth into a good work challenge? (I do!) Are you someone who strives to keep moving forward, always growing? (I am!)

These are just some of the reasons I started my business so many years ago. I had little experience as I stepped into the various roles — almost overnight — of business owner, leader and manager.

I rolled up my sleeves. Held my breath. And, I jumped in.

And what a journey it’s been!

Looking back now, I see how much I really didn’t know back then. I eventually found my way, of course. But recalling some of the struggles I faced in my different roles, I can’t help but think:

“Gee, I wish I’d known __________!”

“Gosh, I wish someone had told me how to ____________!”

“Dang, why didn’t anyone clue me in that ______________?!”

I could have been more effective. Saved some time. Avoided some mistakes. I wouldn’t have believed I had to know, be and do everything all alone.

And, I would have had far fewer headaches — that’s for sure!

A New Angle on Becoming Your Best Self

So, what does all of this have to do with you? If you follow me, you know I’m all about supporting you to become the best version of yourself.

Whether you’re just starting out in work or life — or you’ve been around the block a few times — there’s always something to learn.

However, becoming your best self does not mean you have to struggle to figure everything out on your own!

Think about it. You don’t get “brownie points” for reinventing the wheel. No accolades for rediscovering already-known solutions and industry best practices.

My Top Ten “Things I Wish I’d Known …”

I do wonder how my own development might have accelerated if someone had sat me down and said, “You know, here’s a perspective — or technique, or viewpoint — that just might help you reach those big goals you’ve set for yourself.”

Would I have been open to the feedback? Or, would I have resisted, thinking it was just some old-timer giving me unwanted advice?

In all honesty, it probably would have been a bit of both.

But today, I can  unequivocally say that if someone wants to share with me a possible answer or solution to a sticky problem, I am 100% all ears!

Power Quote:

“Those who can’t change their minds can’t change anything.” — George Bernard Shaw

A New Topic Each Month

So! My mission this year is to shorten your learning curve as a manager, leader or business owner. (Or to help prepare you if you aspire to these roles.) That way,  you can spend more time creating, innovating or seizing great opportunities.

My blog will take a light-hearted look at “things I wish I’d known.” We’ll explore a new topic each month in the areas of (1) leading people, (2) making decisions, (3) modeling accountability, and (4) caring for yourself and your career.

Power Question:

How much time and energy do you spend trying to figure things out all by yourself?

In each article, I’ll share two Power Challenges to incorporate your learning into your work or life.

In fact, why not start right now? To prime yourself for this year’s learnings, read on!

Power Challenge 1: What do YOU wish you’d known?

Here’s a simple reflection to jumpstart a learning mindset. Bring to mind a scenario from your past where you grappled with some struggle, challenge or difficulty. (Do not choose something  happening now.)

Spend a little time reflecting. Write in your journal if you like:

  • Did you feel “alone” in your challenge?
  • Did other people share ideas, thoughts or advice with you (whether you asked for it or not)? If so, how well did you listen?
  • Thinking back to then, what do you wish you’d known, or been told, related to your challenge?
  • If others had shared their perspectives or relevant experiences with you, how might you have handled the challenge differently? How might the outcome of the challenge have changed?

There are no right or wrong answers. Just explore what you notice about yourself.

Power Quote:

“I wish I’d known sooner that success isn’t defined by who goes the longest without a vacation.” – Arianna Huffington

Power Challenge 2: How to listen to ideas or advice

One of the many things I’ve learned is it takes a certain skill to listen to advice or perspectives — especially when related to your challenges.

Often, we put up immediate resistance. (We might keep a professional face, but inside, we’re saying “No, no, no, no!”)

The insecure parts of us feel threatened. We imagine someone’s thinking we’re not good enough. Or not smart enough. That we can’t do it on our own … that we have to be told. And maybe we even start to believe these disempowering thoughts!

I’d like you to see someone else’s advice, perspective or wisdom as information. It’s there for you to consider. Maybe it completely resonates with you. Maybe partially. Or maybe there’s no way, EVER, that you’re going to adopt it.

The important skill is to be willing and able to listen with an open mind. Hear and consider everything being said. Ask questions for clarity.

Then, assess what you’ve heard. Take what works for you and leave the rest.

Power Idea:

Don’t discard someone’s feedback just because your ego pitches a fit!

Some of the greatest leaders of countries, companies and communities listen more than they talk. They know they don’t have to know everything or do everything alone. They’re more focused on getting a good result or effectively solving a problem than pumping up their ego.

So, in this Power Challenge,  observe yourself when someone offers you advice or another viewpoint. Notice whether you’re resistant or open (or some of both).

If you find you’re resistant, try to shift into an open mindset. Tell your ego to take a back seat. Remember, you don’t HAVE to take the advice! You can thank the person with sincerity, and then mull over what you’ve heard.

Don’t Go It Alone

It sure feels great when you can say, “I did this!” But make no mistake — even if you take someone else’s advice or incorporate their perspectives, you’re still the one in charge.

You’re the one who got the good results or outcome. You’re the one who had the good sense and open mind to know you didn’t have to have all the answers yourself. It’s still your accomplishment!

The Year Ahead

I’m looking forward to sharing my list of top-ten things I wish I’d known (or been told) earlier in my career. I hope you find them valuable along your own path.

But of course, take what works for you and leave the rest.

And with that, you’ll be a wise and discerning owner, leader or manager — I daresay you’ll be your best self!

Looking for a motivational speaker for your next event? Carla energizes and inspires attendees to be the best version of themselves that they can be. Contact her today.

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