When things go wrong,
Go wrong with you,
It hurts me, too.
– When Things Go Wrong, by Eric Clapton
This week, it happened again. Another fiber connection was severed by a 3rd party contractor during an install for something else, and we lost a whole building as a result. Luckily, we’re on spring break, so staff and students are not here, but fiber’s expensive to fix, and not something we can do in-house.
The lesson? How to stay resilient in today’s turbulent world, and work with people in productive ways…
Control What You Can & Do Your Best
In IT, as in the rest of life, we don’t have control over everything we ultimately want to control. The sooner you come to grips with that, the better.
Otherwise, you’ll risk being a nervous wreck all the time, and many times, spend a lot of time and energy on things that’ll drive you up the wall!
The key to success, among many other things, is to recover quickly, generate a plan of action, and execute. In terms of the fiber cut (the 4th one this year!), it was a matter of getting in contact with the overall project manager, inform them of what happened, and quickly come up with a plan to move forward.
It would be easy to get upset, throw blame, and spew anger, but in many cases, mistakes are made, and rarely do bad things happen that were premeditated.
Negative thoughts have no place in these situations, and don’t lead to positive results. Approaching with a rational, positive, and resolute demeanor often gets you a solution much quicker!
Don’t Forget the Power of Relationships
We met 11 excellent candidates for principal at one of our schools last week, and all had different takes on what it means to form lasting relationships. We all agreed that it’s key to getting anything done. Anywhere.
In a time of crisis, lean on your people and those you have solid relationships with to get things done.
Give respect to get some. Be generous. Act open and honest, and have discussions with the end goal in mind.
What’s your “win condition?”
In other words, what would you like to see happen as an outcome of this situation? What do you want? How will you know you’ve been successful? Are you able to help yourself? Are you able to contribute positively?
If not, check your ego, and let someone else help you.
The Choice is Yours
Your life doesn’t just “happen.” Whether you know it or not, it is carefully designed by you. The choices, after all, are yours. You choose happiness. You choose sadness. You choose decisiveness. You choose ambivalence. You choose success. You choose failure. You choose courage. You choose fear. Just remember that every moment, every situation, provides a new choice. And in doing so, it gives you a perfect opportunity to do things differently to produce more positive results.
– Stephen Covey, author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Splice Skills with Attitudes
In the case of the busted fiber connection, the solution is to get a hold of a skilled person to splice it back together. Easy. The right tool for the job, and a fix that will last for a long time.
With relationships though, not so much. When you hurt or embarrass someone, it’s not so easy to hit ‘reset’ and move on. Mending a relationship takes time. But worrying about things that are too far from your center may not be worth it…
How you approach each situation will determine how the situation is resolved. You can either escalate, or de-escalate any situation, and work proactively towards a mutually agreed outcome. The choice is yours.
Lastly, Some Homework
STEP 1 – Grab a plate, and throw it on the ground, breaking it.
STEP 2 – Say ‘Sorry!’ to it…
Did it go back to the way it was before? Do you understand?
Keep on building relationships, and solving interesting problems!