You Gotta Go Up to Grow Up

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That’s a tall order. Do you ever feel like you just want to gather up your toys and go home? I do. Sometimes, when people don’t see it my way, I just don’t want to play anymore. Oops, I just laughed out loud. I could hear Dr. Phil in my head saying, “How’s that working for you, Beth?”

So, we can we agree that sometimes you can’t or don’t get your way. It happens with guests, team members, friends, significant others, and so on. I think it’s what you do with this situation that makes the biggest difference.

This stuff always comes to mind when I sit next to a baby on a plane. I have great grace for the baby. I know they are going to scream on the way up and on the way down because of the change in air pressure. If adults weren’t “grown up,” they would scream, too. It hurts your ears, doesn’t it? That makes me think about the pain of not getting my way and how to respond in those moments.

If I use the airplane comparison, I guess I could chew gum except I don’t think that would ease the pain of not closing the sale, or of a team member not understanding the training or a husband who won’t get his honey-dos completed. The grown-up pain relief for each of these scenarios needs definition.

What does the grown-up in the room do when the sale doesn’t close? Ask questions; find out why. I promise I’ve learned more about how to close the next sale from the one I lost. A temper fit and whining about the loss never helps at all!

How about the team member who struggles to perform the way you want them to perform? The same answer seems to apply. Ask questions; find out why. A grown-up gets more clear with the message, and the team member succeeds, or you figure out together maybe this isn’t the right job. A less grown-up leader complains about the team member, hopes they’ll get better, ignores the situation, quits scheduling the team member for shifts… you see where I’m going with this. It sounds like I gather up my toys and get away from that guy! The honey-do thing….go to Dr. Phil. I don’t have any good solutions for this one. I may never be grown up enough to do anything more than nag or whine!

Listen, I think we could all grow up a little more every day. It would be nice if we still got to take naps in the middle of the day and if mom was there with cookies in the afternoon. But that’s not the way “work-life” really works. I recently saw the reprint of a Bill Gates’ speech given to Whitney High School students. I think it succinctly sums up my Grow Up to Go Up premise. He listed the following 11 rules:

  1. Life is not fair. Get used to it.
  2. The world won’t care about your self-esteem. The world will EXPECT you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.
  3. You will NOT make $40,000 a year right out of high school.
  4. If you think your teacher is tough, wait until you meet your boss.
  5. Flipping burgers are not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping. They called it opportunity.
  6. If you mess up, it’s not your parents’ fault, so don’t whine about your mistakes. Learn from them.
  7. Before you were born, your parents weren’t as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, doing your laundry, and listening to you talk about how cool you are. So, before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parents’ generation, try delousing the closet in your room.
  8. Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life has not. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades, and they’ll give you as many times as you want to get the right answer. That doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.
  9. Life is not divided into semesters. You don’t get the summers off, and very few employers are interested in helping you find yourself. Do that on your own time.
  10. Television is NOT real life. In real life, people have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.
  11. Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.

In closing, I want to share that I’m working on this grown-up thing every day. If you want to work with me, we are putting on a Train the Trainer event in Arlington, TX in April. I’d love to save you a seat.


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