April 6, 2020

No One Is Getting It Right

No one is getting it right all the time right now (or ever). So the pressure is off from getting it just perfect in this moment.

In a short amount of time, institutions large and small (along with individuals like you and me that function within those institutions) have had to make dramatic shifts in how they operate. We are going to screw up. We are going to make mistakes. So, here are a few thoughts on how to function during dramatic change (whether temporary or long term):

Be reliable. Show up when you say you're going to show. Be as consistent in this as you can. Whether this is a massive school district delivering learning online or an individual scheduling a virtual meeting with two others. Communicate clearly and frequently and do what you say you're going to do when you communicated you would. And when you don't ...

Say you're sorry. We are all are going to have moments when we can't be relied upon. We're human. Our institutions were built by humans. The pressure of perfection is off as long as you can say, "I screwed up. I'm sorry." Whether this is because you're nerves are on end and you need to simply turn it all off for a moment (or a day) or because you sent out the wrong date or time for a meeting on accident. Just say you're sorry and move on, which means ...

Keep showing up. Keep trying new things, different ways to solve problems. If perfection isn't required and it's okay to make mistakes, then what better time to learn something new, try something different and make something work better. Right now, it's way more important to us that you show up, that you try and by your actions communicate, "I am here. I care about what is happening right now. I'm going to try and address this problem, this opportunity." It tells us that you care, that we matter and that we're in this together.

In this strange moment in human history we have the opportunity to learn what's really important and yet we can only do so if we set hubris aside and show up with all the humility and creativity we can offer.


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