When problems arise in our businesses, it’s all too easy to blow things out of proportion and react in a negative way. We can become so consumed by our businesses that even when we take time off, our minds are still locked in ‘work mode.’
Take me as an example. I recently celebrated a birthday and decided to get away for a few days.
Without fail, as most of us generally would, my mind began wandering and wondering about my business and personal commitments – Will everything be okay? What could go wrong? What will go wrong? What will happen if this, that, or the other happened?
Basically, all the good (and bad) thoughts that most business owners think about before taking time out raced through my mind like an unstoppable train of anxiety.
However, thanks to my operations manager, Matt, I now have a different take on this negative mindset. In this blog post, I share my new discovery with you so that you can develop the same positive mindset and use it to your advantage.
Jocko Willink’s approach to the ‘Good’ life
You may or may not be aware of the works of former Navy Seal John “Jocko” Willink. He’s a well-known public figure, author and podcaster who offers life advice and practical solutions on various topics.
Matt is slightly obsessed with him. But, after listening to a few of his episodes, it’s easy to see why.
While Jocko’s stern militaristic background comes across in his podcasts, there is one part of his work which rings true with me. So, I’d like to not only outline the reasons why, but show you how you can deploy this mindset to “good” effect.
“Leaders must own everything in their world. There is no one else to blame.” – Jocko Willink.
When you’re in a leadership scenario or position, there are many factors that are both in your control and equally, out of your control. For example; Do you worry if someone calls in sick at a critical time? Do you brood over when a colleague makes a mistake? Do you overly fret if a customer is unhappy?
Well, Jocko’s response to many of these challenges would be as simple and direct as “good” (he would possibly also nod and smile with a guitar/drum beat sound effect, but don’t quote me on that!)
Not only will this response give you a chance to collect your thoughts, but it can also help you to come up with a practical solution to solve the problem. Then, you can move forward with a plan to stop the same issue from reoccurring; which in itself can be liberating and empowering!
How does the “Good” mindset work?
I’m glad you asked. The word ‘good’ can be used in many different ways – it can be used as a noun, an adjective, or an adverb. But in this scenario, it is used predominately as a positive interjection (albeit, not exclusively). It is also worth noting that the word “good” is synonymous with words such as conscientious, commendable, efficient, capable and gracious.
Responding to a complication with the word “good” lifts a lot of the negative connotations that come with problems. It can also inspire colleagues and co-workers by implying “I have everything in hand.” Even if you don’t, it will give you an opportunity to take time out, reload, recalibrate and reengage, to formulate a strategy and move forward!
This is the core message of this week’s Mi-TV – If you have anything that you need to sort out, anything that’s disappointed you or hasn’t gone right, just respond with… “Good!”
It’s all about re-framing the problem.
- If the problem is something that will push you to do something better – good!
- If it is an issue that will force you to revise your overview on something – good!
- If it is a difficulty that makes your job harder and drives you to betterment – good!
- If it is a challenge which allows you to re-learn or re-visit a long-standing irk – good!
- If it is a breakdown in your daily flow then take the high-road, empower yourself and those around you by framing it in a positive light with the word “Good!”.
Whether the problem is something at work, or at home, just ask yourself: “What is this teaching me? What do I have to change? What is it telling me?” – when framed in that perspective, it can only be a good problem, right?
But, how can I apply this ‘Good’ mindset?
“When things are going bad, there’s going to be some good to come of it” – Jocko Willink.
You might find yourself in a crappy situation that you feel you can’t get out of. If you do, take yourself out of it. Don’t mindfully beat yourself up over it (and others). Use the word “good” and take stock on the facts. Look at it from a different perspective, re-evaluate the situation and consider the steps that you can take to change it. Because no “good” will come of it if your responses and reactions to problems are anything short of good
Stay positive, stay productive, and most of all, stay good!
If you want to learn more about how to deal with failure and bad situations using Jocko’s ‘Good’ approach, check out this video from his podcast for more information.