Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

I was late running out the door to get to the airport because I ran out of day before I ran out of work. I jumped on a conference call a few minutes later and must have gone into auto pilot mode as I missed my exit. I could feel the stress rising as I hit traffic getting off the next exit, but it quickly cleared and I was back on track.

At the airport I was “randomly” selected to go into what I thought would be a faster track through TSA. It turned out I was in the slow lane and had to wait behind a woman getting a full body pat down. I got through and was thankful it wasn’t me.

All was well until it was time to board. I swiped my boarding pass and a big red screen came on that said DO NOT BOARD. The attendant told me to wait as he printed my new boarding pass with an aisle seat.  Immediately, I started feeling grumpy.  I have to be in a window seat where I can see take off and landing or I get stressed. The lady in the window seat was nice, but not willing to trade.

Resolved to deal with my seat switch in a professional way, I decided not to tweet nasty tweets to the airline and just suck it up. Moments later we heard we had 1 more passenger than seats. I was suddenly grateful to have my aisle seat.

It is so easy to let things bother us when they don’t go exactly as planned.  I had to catch myself a few times to keep from getting cranky about what I couldn’t control. In the end, it all worked out.


Ego, Agenda, and Getting the Credit

There are some things I just don’t care about. Getting the credit it one of them. I am a big picture person and if someone else getting the credit helps achieve the bigger goal, so be it. This may be a fault on my part, but as a goal setter I focus on the end game.

I listened to a friend talk about some challenges in her job this morning.  Her boss doesn’t seem to accept any of her ideas to the point where she is trying to figure out who she can share them with so they can put them forth and get them done. This is not the most effective way to do business,  but sometimes ego, fear, or insecurity gets in the way and we have to find work arounds to get the job done.

When I worked with a team putting together the Casselberry task force we determined from day 1 that we needed to set aside ego and agenda. In order to help the kids, we needed to work on equal footing. The end result was amazing as the school had a portable donated and we were able to staff it for 3 years. Another group wanted to take it over because they thought they could do more than we could. The team voted and we let the other group take it over with our blessing.

Believing in yourself, your ability and your team is healthy. Striving for excellence and perfection is good business. Delegation is a good way to lead (abdication of responsibility is not). Holding on, being controlling,  and demanding the credit is never good for the big picture. I may not care who gets the credit,  but if my name is attached to it, I want it to be the best it can be.

My advice to managers and leaders who see frustration in their team members. Ask yourself if you are helping or hindering? Do you have to get the credit? Do you listen to feedback without being defensive? 

If so, learn to let go and give others more responsibility and more credit and watch your teams bond and grow and your business succeed.

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