Dana's My Coach

Find your game… play… repeat.

What’s Better Than Perfect?..Adaptability

If you are perfect, you may not want to continue reading. You will begin to wish you weren’t!

Whether you are a movie star, an entrepreneur or a full-time mom, your ability to adapt and adjust when things change will determine your success. A surprising fact is that the amount of time a company’s employees take to address the problem when things go wrong is directly related to its success rate. This is considered an even more accurate predictor of a business’s sustainability than whether or not it meets its projected goals, as promised, on schedule every time.

Now if your company does meet its deadlines, as promised, every time, there’s nothing wrong with that! Like Forrest Gump’s mom says, “Perfect is as perfect does.” Oh, wait, that was “Pretty is as pretty does.” Ok, wrong quote.

Nevertheless, however perfect and/or pretty you are does not necessarily equip you with skills for accurate self-analysis and self-adjusting. Companies are more likely to survive when they are able to recognize failure and mistakes, and communicate about them quickly. The same is true if you are a free agent, producer or family man.

One of my clients recently lost her home in the floods. I mean, she lost everything. And yet, two months later, she is following through with an international research-gathering trip and completing the launch of a new side business.

And, at the same time, her existing estate sale business is going strong. With new headquarters, new clients and the same high level of service. Click here to see more about Deborah and her project Italy Unfiltered. She makes Italy and Italian culture (and cuisine) more accessible to Americans through parties, live demonstrations and group trips.

Oscar nominee Matthew McConaughey is another example of adaptability. In his career, he had about a 10-year dry spell. But he did not give up. He kept trying and working and working and trying. Now, in one year, he has three major blockbusters, plus a popular TV show. How did he do it? He kept experimenting and adapting until he got the formula right.

Each time he had a flop, he went back to the drawing board and started working on a new project; learning and growing each time. If you keep working at something, eventually, time works for you, instead of against you. Now, time is in McConaughey’s corner. If he was not growing and changing with each movie failure, he would have been a one-hit wonder whose appeal died out long ago. Instead, he took on more and more challenging roles…and eventually he hit his stride. His recent Oscar reflects it!

Peter Drucker, often called the ‘father of entrepreneurship’ sites failure as one of the conditions for innovation (Innovation and Entrepreneurship). If you are not failing, you are not having to reinvent your brand, products, services and/or systems. Sometimes you must even destroy your current brand, product, services and/or systems for the reinvention to be complete.

If you do not question, reinvent, and rebuild, according to Drucker, you do not innovate. In our fast-changing market the ability to innovate, or adapt is the thing that matters. You may have a perfect brand, product, service and systems…but when the market changes or the conditions in the market change, where will you be with your perfect product that was only perfect yesterday?

In a company, family or client interaction, sentences like, “We didn’t do what we said we would do.” Or, “We missed our deadline, what now?” may be more important than, “You did what I asked!” or, “We are right on schedule!”

Acknowledgement is a coaching tool that can be used in any situation to address what is actually happening. It’s the single most important tool in communication and perception for seeing and communicating to your teammates (family?!) that things have gone off-track. And the first step toward getting them right back on track.

Does your business or family have an open system for feedback and acknowledgement when things go off-course? If not, help is out there! Watch our tutorials for demonstrations!

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