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False Starts

January 25, 2018

False Starts:  Part of the Process

By Jeanine Izzo

Even when we do everything to prevent one…we can experience a false start.  In fact, this article is the result of a false start.  I had an article 3/4 complete in early January on a completely different topic.  I wanted to publish the article in early January to honor the freshness of a new year, yet it didn’t happen.  My first inclination was to put pressure on myself to complete that topic.  Fortunately, I’ve learned that many times those false starts, or seeming failures, are part of the process.  A process that typically brings us to either a better place or a deeper understanding of the direction we are going.

This definitely rang true when I was leading teams.  The team would adopt the urgency of the sponsor(s) to get the project rolling on a tight time frame.  Following directives, we would minimize or skip some steps in the beginning.  Eventually, I observed the correlation between the skipping of certain steps (i.e. clarifying scope, setting expectations, team training and creating common assumptions for planning) and project delays.  Inevitably, when we skipped over these, we would have to circle back at inopportune times to make solid progress forward.  Although, the circling back seemed like a drag…it certainly worked out better than forcing our way without clarifying.  Many teams stick to the forcing because they have been conditioned to believe they don’t have time to circle back.  The more we try to defy the uncertainty, the more it impacts the results.  In every example I can think of, forcing without evaluating led projects to take more time or money, or both, to complete.

False starts combined with an evaluation period allow us some options:

-Inform/involve others, as necessary.

-Adjust the way forward for a better outcome.

-Cancel the task/project altogether and prioritize another task/project.

-Revisit the task/project at a later date.

In the case of this article, evaluating this when I was 3/4 complete with another topic allowed me to

1. Realize the timing did not seem right for that topic (it went back into my idea bin).

2. Come up with another topic stemming from my own challenge to complete my desired task.

3. Design in additional time to pull it together.

4. Still meet my overarching goal of one article per month.

5. Alleviate unproductive stress (i.e. beating up on myself).

In January, more people abandon their goals than stick with them.  Whether it is January or not, when you feel like you have failed yourself, or others, chalk it up to a false or delayed start.  Then, if you still want/need to complete the goal, adjust your actions and begin again.  You can still cross the finish line well.

Forward moving tips:

  1. Ask yourself, am I still motivated by my goal?
  2. What contributed to the false or delayed start?
  3. What can I learn through this ‘failure?’
  4. Forgive yourself for your ‘failure.’
  5. How will I adjust moving forward?
  6. Begin again.
  7. Repeat as necessary.

False starts are part of the learning, growing and succeeding process.  Very rarely, especially when embarking on a new endeavor, can we have a seamless experience.  The sooner we can accept this…the sooner we can create better plans, agility and success rates.

For assistance with helping you and your team move through false starts and seeming failures to progress…Contact Viage Partners today.

© Viage Partners 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Viage Partners with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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