Our friend’s father was meeting us at a vacation cabin. When he arrived early, he decided to sightsee and wound up lost. He called trying to find his way back to the rental house but he didn’t know where he was or what road he was on. All he kept repeating was “Just tell me what road I need to get on.”
My friend kept telling him “Look for a sign and tell us what road you are on.” Both finally gave up in frustration. We couldn’t tell him because we didn’t know where he was. Several turns might have been necessary to lead him back to a main road. The situation was impossible.
You need to know where you are before you can get where you’re going. This seems simple but we often can’t recognize the complexities. We see a destination — an end result — and want to arrive without taking our starting point into consideration.
Where are you?
I’ve been observing someone attempt to organize a new initiative. Lacking the skills to analyze where she is, she sends missives to everyone involved rather than the leaders who need to decide how to proceed. She makes new demands without acknowledging the change or justifying the request. She knows where she is told she must go, but doesn’t have the ability to understand where she is, who is involved, what the instructions need to be, and how to inform everyone. She’s lost.
In some cases, such as this one, I don’t think she even realizes she’s fumbling around. What can she do?
The most important thing is to stop and ask for directions. Find someone to help. When you are not receiving positive responses or the expected answers, realize you are not proceeding correctly.
Ask someone to explain why. Be open to hearing what you are doing wrong. This is the only way to improve.
Ask yourself if you are struggling or frustrated. Think about the reasons. Have you found yourself feeling this way on other projects? Is there anything you can do?
Keep in mind, we all have limitations. Sometimes you need to turn the wheel over to another driver and admit you can’t handle the situation. Learn from your failures.