Remembering Where You've Been

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Posted by Jaime Leben

February 7, 2014

memoriesBy now, you’ve all seen about 15,372 of those Facebook Look back movies. Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but there are a lot of them out on the walls, and mine is no exception. For the 4 of you out there who aren’t on Facebook, I’ll explain. In honor of the site’s 10 year anniversary, they launched an app that takes pictures and updates from your page, and loads them into a movie set to nostalgic music lasting about a minute. It’s a fun way to look back on your life via the social media platform, and remember some of the moments that have made up the last 10 years, or however long you’ve been a member.

As members of a fast-paced, never stop

 moving, forward-forward-forward society and workplace, it’s hard to take your eyes off the windshield and glance into the rearview mirror. We want to keep driving, 

to keep innovating, and to keep pushing to see what the next milestone will be. I totally get it, and, as a leader within my organization, I’m often tasked as the one to be motivating my teams to achieve the goals that will get us to that next milestone. While I agree with forward progress, and know its the only way to grow as a business, I also appreciate taking the time to pause and look back.

When you’re constantly working to create and implement something new, it can often be frustrating when you hit dead ends, feel like you’re not making progress, and run into stakeholders who don’t feel the need to change. Instead of wallowing in your frustration, I invite you to look back. Remember how it was a month ago, a year ago, or maybe even five years ago when you first started to add value to your organization as an individual contributor, or member of a team. Did you come into a situation with little to no reporting capabilities and implement trackers that identified key metrics that your team now can work to improve? Was the process or lack thereof, keeping the team from servicing clients in an efficient and organized manner, but now the team is working together like the proverbial well-oiled machine you knew it could be? Were you able to survey a less than pleased client to pinpoint exact areas of frustration in order to rectify pain points and update daily activities to improve results on the next survey? If so, then bravo, enjoy those wins, you and your team earned them.

As you think about those wins, also take a moment to remember the struggle and frustration it was to gain buy-in from team members when implementing metrics tracking, how time consuming it was to layout entire workflows and then modify and roll-out to achieve overall consistency, and how disheartening it was to hear direct and sometimes negative feedback from customers regarding your service delivery. Not too pleasant, am I right? Now, look where you are today. There was a struggle, and a win, and now you’re able to keep moving forward to see where the next struggles, opportunities, and wins will be.

Yes, it’s important to look forward in business and life, but it’s also vital to take a moment and look back.

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