This is the first of my feature posts – Monday is for “My Lessons from Last Week”… Over the next few weeks (maybe longer) I will share some of the lessons I would’ve learnt for the previous week…
I learnt more lessons than this last week but I chose a couple… Enjoy!
On The Road
I will not go into detail on how I arrived at this one but one of the lessons I remember from last week was that not everybody drives like me. (I don’t know if I can call it a lesson or reminder, perhaps both…) It may take me a little longer and in some cases faster than others to get between two places.
What does this have to do with anything? Well, I was reminded that not everybody will do things the way I do. While we all may have the same destination in mind, we are very likely to have diverse ways of getting there. While I’m more likely to think what is the fastest route someone else may think what is the shortest route. This is so because sometimes,
the fastest route is not necessarily the shortest and the shortest route is not always the quickest.
We may place the same value to the destination or not. Despite the value we hold for the destinations, I believe there are other values at play. We all have different ways of doing things done because of the diverse values we hold. I may feel that that my time is more valuable hence the shortest route, while John may esteem his fuel tank with higher regard, yet going to the same destination.
In a team context, I think there are some things that the leader can leave his team to seeing that they happen. At the same time, besides just getting to the ‘destination’ there may be some values that you want your team to embrace. The journey to the destination may be as worth as the destination as you add values at each step.
We may value the ultimate destination the same but the steps on the way differently. Sometimes it may be more important to focus on the desired outcomes than on the methods. As a leader, watch the methods / steps in the process for where you can ‘punt’ a value. As we’ve established, not everybody will do things the same as you…
On The Squash Court
I probably played one of my most exhausting and exhilarating, yet best squash games in a long time on Wednesday last week. I wanted to be so tired that I couldn’t help but sleep, hence I pushed myself. I had started off with a good lead but from having played several games before this one I was very exhausted.
My lead started narrowing and I was very alarmed. You know the guys that play the game for some cardiovascular exercise? I am definitely not one of them! I am one of those guys who does not believe in the “what’s important is that you participated” philosophy! If I am going to be in a game I have to be in it to win it! There! The truth is out – I don’t just play for a cardiovascular workout or to take part, I play to win! Period! Yes, I sometimes lose…
Whilst on that, I think people that use the “what’s important is that you participated” line are not always honest. The truth is it sucks to lose! If you one of the people in the “what’s important is that you participated” club I dare you to be honest! It sucks to lose and you hate it!
Sorry, I’m getting a little carried away… Where were we… Ah… back to my game on Wednesday… I eventually got back in the game, extended my lead again and won. One of the lessons I learnt on the court that day: there is always some fight left in you!
When we defeat ourselves everything else will walk over us. We defeat ourselves when we constantly tell ourselves we have given all.
When we constantly tell ourselves we cannot ‘fight’ anymore then we cannot. When we tell ourselves there’s not more hope then there isn’t any more hope. I learnt to constantly check the things I tell myself. What I constantly tell myself, believe and embrace is a sure indicator where I will end up.
In the midst of my fatigue I told myself, “I can still win this and I am going to return every shot well” and that’s what I did. You will benefit more by keeping your eyes on the ultimate prize than the pain. The prize will last longer than the pain. After the game, victory was where my focus went and the pain was not as prominent. When you get the prize somehow the pain becomes irrelevant.
As You Slide Down The Banister Of Life May The Splinters Never Point The Wrong Way – Irish blessing
P.S: If you planning on falling on the squash court, make sure you don’t fall on your behind and slide, you may just get a splinter!