Are You Lurking In The Past?

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Leave “Back To


The Future”


in the dust and


the old movies!


Leadership’s a funny thing, especially when running a small business. The more we try to figure out what went wrong, the less we move forward. Big unionized companies and government agencies can afford the luxury of assigning task teams to look back and determine who did what to whom and why and wherefore.

Small businesses can go broke while their heads are turned.

More than any other organizational entity on Earth, small businesses must remain the most flexible and the least concerned with exploring, assessing, and resolving old problems. In other words, if it’s broke (and not impacting the lifeblood of our business), we need to step over or around it and move on. Fixing stuff takes too much time that is better spent with forward motion … innovative leadership by example!

We need to remind ourselves that anything longer than a minute-old is:

  1. Fantasy (because it’s not in the here-and-now present reality of time and space) and
  2. Over with and impossible to change.

HOW do we keep our minds focused on the reality of what we’re dealing with day to day —  instead of what happened last week, or yesterday, or an hour ago? The fastest and most effective way that tens of thousands of successful business owners and managers use to accomplish this (and, by the way, that’s free, and takes all of 60 seconds!) is to simply take a couple of deep breaths.

     For specific reinforcement on this, take a quick side trip with your mouse and click here to take some deep breaths.

     The bottom line is that no matter what method we use . . . checking our watches, turning up the music volume, pinching ourselves, playing with a puppy or a baby, taking a slug of ice water, rubbing our foreheads briskly or rubbing our hands together briskly, phoning our desk lines with our cell phones and talking to ourselves (well, okay, maybe just let it ring once!) . . . if it works and it joggles our brains into the present moment, it’s a good method. We need to keep using it.

Recalling past incidents, problems and solutions, accomplishments can have a positive effect on our here-and-now decision making as long as we are consciously managing those “Back to the Future” visits from our present existences.

We get ourselves in trouble when we choose to allow ourselves to get lost with past thoughts, reveries, daydreams, nostalgia … whatever we want to call these experiences. Why? Because getting stuck in those mental journeys  is rarely if ever productive and — in a work setting — will almost certainly not help us establish or maintain the forward motion we need to grow our businesses.

   Is it very unlike running down the field carrying the football, and suddenly stopping to think about the circumstances surrounding your last touchdown?

Small business leaders must prompt, promote, and maintain continuous forward movement, be prepared to “turn on a dime” as the expression goes, and stay focused as much of the time each day as possible on the customer, supplier, employee, market opportunity that’s smack dab in front of our faces, not dwelling on history. Save that journey for your accountant.

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One comment so far

One Comment to “Are You Lurking In The Past?”

  1. […] When you hear one of the three “Dah’s” worm it’s way into a discussion, treat it like a yellow caution light. Slow things down and bring attention back to the reality of the moment. […]

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