April 2, 2011

Make Your Own Rules

Day 92: 29.3 miles/1:37

To make an omelet you will have to break a few eggs.”

To accomplish any goal there will be some point in your journey where you will need to define your own rules.  When I talk with people about certain activities or actions they sometimes resist the idea under the fear or concern that it may disrupt, upset, or interrupt someone else’s way of doing things.  While I do not want to be or seem selfish or disrespectful of others, there are times where just because a certain way of doing things has been established does not make it right, efficient, or law.

When it comes to what you are working on and where you need to go, making and defining a new set of rules, procedures, or processes might be the only alternative.  In my business coaching programs my rule is that “you can do anything as long as it is not illegal, unethical, or immoral.”   This does not mean you need to be controversial, disruptive, disrespectful, or selfish to the point that you hurt the team; but, it does mean that a certain way of doing something is not so sacred that you cannot find a way to do it differently, especially if it is going to help you with your mission.

Brandon has been struggling to find work right now.  Some of the challenge is related to confidence, but another part of it is simply the process.  He walks into a business, asks them if they are hiring, and they hand him an application.  Sometime the manager will talk with him.  Other times they tell him they will call.  We all know these applications get filed.  The person who is going to get a job in this situation is the one who walks in the store at about the time they have decided they need to hire someone.  It is all about timing than process.

What I shared with Brandon is he needs to interrupt their process.  Instead of accepting their process, he needs to create a process of his own that gives him a chance to really consider him – right there, right now.  Brandon took this action to heart and created his own model.  The last time he filled out an application he handed it to the manager and acknowledged their process and then said, “I know I have the ability to be a valued employee here.  What do I need to do right now, as we talk, to demonstrate to you that I can make a difference as an employee for you?”  What a move!  He interrupted their process with a statement that reflected his commitment to getting a job today and his ability to be a valued worker.  It is hard for any manager to ignore that.  Brandon created his own rule.

Sometimes we get caught up respecting or worrying about someone else’s responses to our commitment and our need to create change.  These worries are merely obstacles that we create.  Your commitment is what drives you.  While you cannot operate in a selfish vacuum that demands a different way of doing things, it is important that you empower yourself, like Brandon, to make up your own rules.  You are on a mission—don’t let anything get in your way, including some silly way of doing things.

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About Dave Cooke

Dave Cooke is a dad on a mission. His mission is to help parents get control of their lives over the powerful, destructive influences of a child's addiction. As the father of a son in a ten year heroin battle, Dave knows all to well the challenges parents and families face. He also knows there is a way to find peace in the chaos. It is his mission to help parents discover their path to a healthier, balanced life even if a child's active addiction is still part of their daily journey.