“When you start wiping out your history, sanitizing your history
to make you feel better, it’s a bad thing.” – Condoleezza Rice
We do that in business and in leadership, don’t we? Rather than learn from our failures, our shortcomings and our bad decisions, we want to sanitize them, ignore them, gloss over them, and get past them as quickly as possible because – ouch! We don’t like the pain, the waiting, the embarrassment, or the bad memories.
Maybe instead of spending our time in the trenches and valleys simply trying to survive – then working as hard as we can to distance ourselves from the bad memories – maybe instead we focus on being aware and seeking to learn from them. Ask yourself:
1. What will I do differently next time?
2. What am I supposed to learn from this?
3. When I make it through this valley, what do I want my story to be?
Record your responses. Reflect on them later.
If you are a person of faith, dig deeper.
4. Am I letting this hard season strengthen or shake my faith?
5. Do I trust God and his plan for my life even in the hard seasons, or only when his plan matches up with my plan?
Winston Churchill is quoted as saying, “Mountains inspire leaders, but valleys mature them.” Don’t waste your failures and poor choices. Allow them to mature you, then keep moving forward with new lessons tucked in your pocket.