In my formative years, my grandfather tried to give me a deep understanding of the wisdom he had found along his road to success. These lessons have continually helped me get better in all facets of my life.
Don’t try to make a perfect choice. Even the best researched and vetted choice can become a failure in the fullness of time because there is no such thing as perfect information. It’s like baseball, everyone has a great game now and then, but over time even the best of the best don’t get it right more than 3 out of 10.
Give Credit and Take Blame
When things go well, push all the credit to your team. When things go wrong, and they will – take all the blame. When a team cannot be sure they will be protected from blame they will become risk averse and unable to execute independent work. Always seeking approval means not a lot gets done. And when credit is to be had – you will be given it. The generosity of giving it away to the team will ensure that the next big problem will be easier to tackle, when we win together we win more often.
Make life easier
The whole point is to make someone’s life easier. This is obvious from the employees perspective. Most people get that making the boss’s life easier will be beneficial. Unfortunately, many leaders do not fully embrace the reciprocal nature of being helpful. In a leadership role, the prime focus must be to provide vision and clear obstacles of the group.
Wisdom comes from listening to others. Thinking you have all the answers is the quickest way to make sure you fail. Part of my career has been coming into a situation as a consultant or contractor and batting clean up. Listening to others and not thinking I know everything has been instrumental in my success. Most often the people that have been dealing with the problem know what to do, they just are not being given a voice. Then I come along and charge a lot of money to do what the management should have done – listen.
You’re The Pebble
Everyone thinks they are the one making the waves, but instead, they are the pebble that gets swept away by the currents. So let the waves come and go. Don’t try to change what you can’t. Be in the moment, and let the tides of time wash over you. Tomorrow may come. Tomorrow may change, but you are still the pebble. Peace comes with acceptance of your lack of control over the world.