In the Beginning
Let me tell you about my sister’s lasagna –
It’s terrible. [Sorry sis!]
For one thing, it’s meatless. For another, she used cottage cheese – which I loathe.
But our parents were happy to let her cook for the five of us, so we had it…far too often.
In the Middle
After I left home, I didn’t eat lasagna for almost 20 years. I didn’t like it at home, and of course naturally assumed that that was how it was supposed to be.
In the End
But it doesn’t have to be like that.
I didn’t know any better. That’s the way it always was, cooking is not my forte, so I just accepted it as given that I didn’t like lasagna.
Now I know that – made properly, with meat and real cheese – it’s delicious.
A few months ago I had one of those long and somewhat painful growth-conversations with my life/business coach that I didn’t want to have, but knew that I had to have if I was ever going to get beyond where I was. I was overwhelmed with work, at the limits of my personal capacity, yet I was loathe to hire anyone to help me. I did not want to manage people. Ever. Again.
You see, I managed an incredible team of 25 stellar programmers for a start-up company many years ago. It was hell. Not because of the programmers, but because of the inane and insane corporate organization, policies, paperwork, micro-management, hours, rules, meetings, pressure, deadlines, and so on that came with the position. No amount of reason or appeal to modern management resources could alter the death spiral of doom.
I spent most of my time trying to keep the team from quitting, and the rest of the time wondering why.
It was my sister’s lasagna all over again.
There was no reason for the insanity. No reason for the inane policies. No reason for the micro-managing paperwork and bureaucracy. No reason at all, except that’s the way they’ve always done business.
It was out of my control – but since I didn’t know any better, I accepted it as normal.
It is not normal. It never was. And furthermore it didn’t have to be like that again.
Stop Eating My Sister’s Lasagna
My company would not do these ridiculous things. My team would not have to put up with such non-productive nonsense. My way…was not that way.
How many things in your life are you rejecting out of hand because of what happened in the past? Because of things that do not have to be the same now? How much faster could you make progress if you let go of these bad recipes, and tried your own tasty concoctions instead?