You want to make a difference. You want to take on the world. You want to have the masses cheering and singing your praises. You might envision the paparazzi chasing you as you whisk past in your limousine; the velvet rope opens for you at all the greatest destinations. We all seek this total appreciation from all we touch. Turns out, that’s just a little unrealistic. Even the Pope has his detractors. Not everyone is going to drink the Kool-Aid. There will be dissenters. Turns out that the best approach is just taking care of your corner of the world; one step at a time.
I just delivered a team building for a organization a few weeks ago. It went well; better than I had expected. There was 100% participation and tons of light bulbs were going off in folk’s heads.. Terrific. We did something from CRR Global called “Lands Work” where each department got to tell their point of view and then, take on each other’s departments’ point of view. They got it. People were FINALLY on the same page. It was terrific. Then I sent out a survey afterwards. One or two people thought I wasn’t enthusiastic enough. My heart sank. When I reflected back, I remember that I was really concerned with getting out on time because I was teaching a class with a visiting guest speaker that was a 90 minute drive away and there was no clock in the room. And now I was dwelling on the folks who were disappointed. My invaluable co-teacher, Sandy Lewis and I were Skyping today as I recounted my story of woe and she asked, “Did you make a difference in one person’s life?” I said, “Yes”. She said, “That’s enough”. End of over expectations. Perspective focused. Take care of my little corner. Move on.
So how do you do that?
1. Perfection is over rated. I have coached dozens of folks who are looking for perfection. 100% on all the survey results. A++. Size 6 jeans. Never a hair out of place. The perfect flawless soufflé EVERY time. What do you think? Unattainable? Yeah it is. Take a breath and let go. No one gets to perfect. That includes the Pope AND Taylor Swift. Accept what is. Even if it’s messy.
2. Be present regardless. I’ve facilitated team building sessions hundreds of times. I know that as a Franklin Covey Trainer told me some 10 years ago, “It’s all about them”. The minute I started worrying about getting out on time, I was not there. I was in the car on the way to the next stop. It’s like the canary in the coal mine. The crowd senses it immediately. When you want to do your best work, you have to be absolutely present.
3. Focus on the positive. As my co-instructor Sandy said, “So most people were positive and got something out of the training”. I said, “Yes. It went great. I was surprised how open everyone was to take on another department’s perspective.” Feedback from anyone can send people on a negative tailspin. Find that one nugget; that one Ah Ha. That one person who comes up to you and says, “Thanks, I needed this”. One small step up the gray staircase. Stay positive.
4. Keep it in perspective. As the great coach, Christine Kane said SWSWSWSW. This stands for, “Some will. Some won’t. So what? Someone’s waiting!” It means that some people are going to love what you do. Some won’t. So what? Someone is waiting for what you are going to do next. That is what you are here for. There is someone out there waiting for your next post. Your next pitch. Your next soufflé. Let go of those who are not fans. Be there for those who are fans.
Think about what’s in your corner of the world. What’s important there? Is it money? Fame? What your impact is. Focus on making a difference and the rest will follow. This moment. Right now. Who will you impact next? Go.