The Struggle Bus – Part 1

This week’s post comes from Scott Peterson.

Have you ever heard the term “the struggle bus”? If not, let me enlighten you. What it means is that a task/event/meeting was more difficult than you had planned and it did not go well (e.g. feels like you are running in mud). Just a couple of weeks ago I was not only on this bus, I was driving it. Not a good feeling. I was leading a meeting that ended up going differently than what I thought (or hoped) it would. The general purpose of this meeting was about brainstorming, exploring and getting feedback from the group. I got caught up in the moment and fell into the trap of “get ‘er done” and lost sight of the original purpose.

That night and the next morning I kept thinking about that meeting. Finally, I asked myself, “Should I embrace this, hide it or ignore it?” I also thought back to some encouraging feedback about failures I received from two EIL grads in the last 6 weeks. While talking about failure doesn’t always sound encouraging, their examples made a huge difference for me, so I want to share them with you:

1. One person sent me a quote from a fortune cookie that said, “Failure is feedback. And feedback is the breakfast of champions.” They included a note that encouraged me to continue pushing people to give and ask for feedback. I also love the idea (even though it’s scary) to look at failure as feedback by reflecting on it and learning from it.

2. Another grad shared a story of how they felt like they failed at EIL during a role playing section about corrective feedback and sidetracks. My role was to be the person who needed corrective feedback and they asked me to be defensive about what I was hearing — so I used my Oscar-worthy acting skills. I ended up derailing that person from giving me the intended corrective feedback during that exercise. More than a year later that person sent me an email to say thank you for that experience; that’s because that (perceived) failure allowed them to learn more, be more prepared and ultimately more successful with giving corrective feedback when it really counted.

Back to the question — Embrace it, hide it or ignore it? As Paul Harvey used to say (for those of you who are a little younger than me, Paul Harvey was a big-time talk radio personality from the 60’s-90’s), “Tune in tomorrow for the rest of the story…..”


Leadership Means Action

“Leadership is an action, not a position.” I recently came across this quote by Donald McGannon. It got me thinking about how being a leader isn’t about the number of…

Read More
From a Child’s Eyes

I gazed into her beautiful brown eyes, struck again not only by that charming combination of dark brown eyes and strawberry-blonde hair but by the lessons reflected there. They were…

Read More
Heart and Soul

The last 18 months have been anything but ordinary. Now, as the economy begins to improve, our schedules are naturally getting busier. It can be hard to decide where to…

Read More