This week I was privileged to participate in CARITAS (Churches Around Richmond Involved To Assure Shelter) and after spending the night with them Monday night followed by dinner each following evening, I was blessed with a fresh perspective. Most of these folks are headed out to jobs and live with uncertaintly every day. They have made a series of poor decisions which in aggregate pushed them past the tipping point into a crisis condition requiring help. I was proud to be able to help them and I have made some new friends in Sarah, Fontella, Margee, Tracy, and Jamie. It is doubtful, that I will see them again in the future after tonight, but they have left an indelible mark on my perspective.
Each of us needs to maintain perspective in our families, jobs and lives overall. Our success is dependant on our judgement and consistency of our decisions. It is the hundreds of small ones that matter, rather than the occasional "famous" ones. We all make mistakes and should be accepting of others' mistakes up to a point.
I often use the term that I am extremely nice right up to the point where I am not. I think that applies for us in life and in our jobs. We need to seek the friendly perspective but we must ultimately be accountable for our results and sometimes be "not so nice" to ourselves. We are paid to get the job done either as performers or managers and we are empowered to make a difference if we choose to do so. We must throw of the victim mentality and embrace the problem solving approach. one task, one hour, one day at a time...
Trust me, "problems are like laundry," to quote a new friend..." there will always be more of it/them."
We must recognize narrow thinking, and an onslaught of negative messaging and guard against it. We must seek a proactive enabling perspective in our methods, principles and this will ultimately translate into results. If we take the time to care about our colleagues it does make a difference. Caring is about actions though, not just talking or thought.
What have you done lately as a random act of kindness? When did you cut someone some slack just because it felt right? Are you maintaining perspective in your approach to your staff, your family, your friends?
There is no right answer to this sort of thought process, and it is healthy to maintain that perspective even as you read.