We get into trouble. Sometimes, it’s as simple as turning the wrong way, not following the driving directions. I have funny stories about when I took my daughters college-shopping. I always made at least one wrong turn. My wrong turns occurred before phones had GPS and automated directions. We had paper.
I bet most of us have seen projects that get into trouble. Maybe you’ve experienced when a couple of people or a person have a breakthrough idea that “saved” the entire project. Their efforts helped the project or the team realize what to do and progress.
What about you? All of us have difficulty at times. Who do you think saves you?
In the case of driving, I had backups: local maps, a front-seat navigator, and the courage or stubbornness to try another way.
In the case of projects, someone or multiple someones have an insight. They have data for the rest of the people.
You need backup to help you, in the form of data, ideas, a support network, or all of the above.
But, I don’t think anyone saves me. I save myself. So do you.
In order to save yourself, you need to see your reality, the data for what’s going on. You need to know how to ask for help. And, you need a network of support. You can generate ideas that you use to help save you.
In the case of not following the directions, it was clear fast that we were going the wrong way. “Mom, you should have turned back there.” Oops.
We need the emotional resilience to say, “Oh, okay. Things are not going the way I wanted. What do I need to do now?”
Not following the directions while driving is something you can fix. Maybe not fast, but you can. Many of us have backups now: multiple map applications on our phones, paper directions, and maybe even a paper map. You might not arrive on time, but you will arrive. Saving our drives is not too difficult.
There are many possibilities for solving problems in a project. Sometimes, all you need is to loosen constraints so that the project team can succeed. The team can save itself.
Saving ourselves when we have a personal problem is more difficult. We don’t often have maps to follow. For example, my vertigo doesn’t follow a “normal” path, so how do I solve this problem and save my daily life? I experiment. I have to have data, a support system, and the growth mindset.
That’s the problem with personal problems, such as health or relationships. There is no one to save your or me. We have to save ourselves.
You can rarely save yourself without a support system. I have an extensive support system: family, friends, colleagues, and, of course, my health professionals. I use them for feedback and information. I can then decide what to do next.
We save ourselves. We need support, feedback, and enough emotional resilience to do so.
Take credit for saving yourself, and give credit to your support system. In the end, we save ourselves.
The question this week is: Who do you think saves you?