Many people I associated with over my career were “one-timers” when they ran into an unforeseen problem.
They would typically shout their displeasure – “Awe sh*t” – and make excuses to their boss for why they were unable to deliver the expected result.
They were victimized by the assault of a random event.
They reached back for the “Things happened that were beyond my control” to explain why they were unable to succeed.
Like it’s ok to fail because things didn’t go as planned.
It’s nonsense of course.
There are ALWAYS unforeseen and unexpected events that reveal themselves to challenge the successful attainment of a goal. It is rare that a plan plays out according to its original script; only the naive and inexperienced believe that the plan is immune to the randomness of the marketplace.
That’s not the way the real world works despite school teachings.
Success-driven people are different than the “excuse artists”.
They are naturals at looking at a potentially negative situation and finding “the pony”; they are magnets for an opportunity buried in the excrement.
When confronted with a setback over which they have no control, they deploy these actions to recover.
- They emphatically declare to one and all their intention to NOT accept they bad hand they have been dealt and that they will find a way to get back on track. They want everyone to know that THEIR brand is all about coming back not giving in.
- They study the forces that caused their plan to go awry; the detailed characteristics of the intervention at play. They work hard to get the facts that caused the problem rather than succumbing to emotion.
- They evaluate the specific impacts created on the current course of action. They calculate the new plan vector from the old plan + interruptive force. With no counter initiatives where is the original plan likely to go given the unexpected disruption?
- They look for nuggets; opportunities disguised as a body blow. Given the new force at play how can its energy be harnessed to create an intervention of your own? And a new direction? “This is how it might work” replaces “Damn it didn’t work”.
- They don’t stop. They continue to iterate through possible adaptations until they find one that will work. Not a perfect solution (for that could only happen with a return to the original plan) but a good “imperfect” one.
Forces in the environment can’t be predicted but successful people can make the best of a bad lot in remarkable fashion.
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