In assessing a new area of responsibility, I usually discover that in order to make a more meaningful and sustainable impact, I will need to take the time to lay a new foundation, rebuild, or clean house before I can move forward. Unfortunately, there’s often someone expecting results right away and I don’t have the luxury of taking my time to approach the challenges methodically. When pressure starts to mount, it’s tempting to blame the circumstances, or the working environment, for the lack of progress.
When You Can’t Wait for the Bleeding to Stop
That’s when the band-aids come in handy. Although they’re meant to be temporary, they often provide quick relief to painful situations. If you need to quickly stop the bleeding, a corporate band-aid may be just what the doctor ordered. When you have to play your own doctor and a band-aid solution is not readily available, instead of feeling sorry for yourself, you can get creative and find something laying around to act as a tourniquet.
Accountability: “A personal choice to rise above one’s circumstances and demonstrate the ownership necessary for achieving desired results—to See It, Own It, Solve It, and Do It.”
— from “The Oz Principle”
That’s one thing that separates the good from the great—those who can find a way to hold themselves accountable and get results regardless of the situation. They get creative. They don’t succumb to the victim mentality. (Victims tend to die a slow death. I learned that the hard way.) When they find themselves hurting and living ‘below the line,’ they take the necessary steps to start healing and operating ‘above the line.’ Band-aids often help along the way. Don’t be too proud to use them.
So, whether you’re helping to improve cross-functional collaboration across the entire organization, reworking SOPs to streamline new product development, or whatever…take ownership and make time to focus on long-term solutions, but also be flexible and creative to deliver more immediate results in the meantime.
No excuses. You’re not a victim of your circumstances.
From my perspective, the real challenge is finding the balance between developing sustainable solutions and knowing when to use temporary band-aids as a tool to buy you some more time. Band-aid solutions should never be the default, but they have their time and place.