I was supposed to run a half marathon today.
Instead, on the drive home from one of my best runs of the year I was involved in a car accident that put a stop to my training for a month. After getting cleared by doctors about a week before the race the idea of “toughing it out” anyway crossed my mind.
Then the weather forecast started to get worse and worse (high humidity, high of 85 degrees). And as if all of that wasn’t enough, the day before the race I was vacuuming, yes VACUUMING, and I hurt my back.
This race just wasn’t meant to be.
Even if I had somehow avoided the car accident, or decided not to vacuum yesterday I would have been plagued by horrible weather and in all likelihood, would have had a pretty miserable experience.
My loosely work related point? Sometimes despite the best of intentions, a whole host of factors (avoidable and unavoidable) get in the way of our best performance.
Often, we don’t see the factors involved in poor performance. We don’t know, and most likely don’t ask, what leads to what is often seen as a sub standard result. In my case, only a few people know about my car accident, and not a soul (sans this blog) knows that I hurt my back vacuuming!
When it comes to work I think we need to take a little more time to understand similar factors: the causes of disengagement and poor performance. It’s not as simple as we like to make it seem, and our response should be as individual as the people involved.
We tend to focus on when people “don’t show up” as expected, and pay little attention to what led to that situation in the first place. I know, it’s not as simple as being beat up and missing out on a race, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s on all of us to step up and work with people in a way that helps them be their best!
And so, here are a few links with good info to get you going in the right direction:
- Performance Management: It Really Does Work, But Managers Are the Key – TLNT
- The Alchemy of Great Leaders – Turning Pewter in to Gold – Bi Worldwide
Photo credit: By Peter Farlow () [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons