Last week I had a meltdown. I’d been working on a project I thought would take two or three weeks. Six weeks into the project not one, but two issues, both outside of my control, surfaced.
One’s been lingering for a couple of weeks and has been exasperated by the weather. The second is one that could cause a further delay, expense, and effort on my part. It was that second one that pushed me over the edge.
Fortunately, it was the end of an incredibly long day, so I had the chance to distance myself from the situation and gain perspective. The next morning, I thought it through.
- I’ve moved these issues as far along as I can. There are other companies responsible for the next steps. My only recourse is to ensure they’re aware of and accept responsibility for each issue, get a commitment, then stay in contact with them.
- There are a lot of other activities requiring my attention and effort.
- Stewing over this issue is a non-value add activity.
Once I got to #3, I had a blinding flash of the obvious when the last phrase of the Serenity Prayer, “and the wisdom to know the difference.” came to mind. I started the day by contacting each company, then got back to those other activities that I could complete.
Even though I didn’t yell, curse, or cry, I’m still embarrassed about that meltdown.
Leah Ward-Lee is a management consultant and business writer based in Dallas, Texas and the author of $1,000 Start-Ups. Her next book, The Executive’s Toolbox, will be released soon.