Stop Clock

July 7, 2022

If you take every setback or "failure" as an opportunity to learn, you never really lose.

You’re either succeeding or you’re learning.  I never lose, I either win or I learn.

As individuals, I ascribe to the notion that we’re always the student, constantly learning. That life is all journey and no summit.

Life isn’t like a mountain. Life is a never-ending journey of peaks and valleys of learning. I am constantly asking myself, “What have I learned today/this week/this year?”

While we’ll always make missteps, every single one is a gift in learning what not to do; what doesn’t work.

As leaders, it’s critical to regularly reflect on what you’ve gained in knowledge over a given time period. To take a metaphorical pulse on yourself and be really honest about what you’ve learned and how much better off you are as a result.

We grow through trial and error. The ones who succeed learn from what not to do.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting a different result.

But the path to mastery is practicing the same thing over and over again until you’ve mastered it.

The difference is in your adjustments and how you view your misses.

If you continue to miss, viewing each miss as a learning experience and course correcting, at some point, brilliance is imminent.

Life’s gonna kick you – you can’t control that. All you can ultimately control is how you react to it. Getting kicked or missing the goal just means you’re learning. The only way you fail is you’re stagnant.

One cool technique I was given by a friend is called “Stop the Clock.” This exercise can be done with just about any group.

To produce great results and learn, you need the right people around you. One of the challenges in continuously learning and evolving is who you surround yourself with.

This exercise helps you see if you have the right people around you and if they’re helping you or hurting you.

Here’s how it works: Pick a time of day, every day and stop the clock at that time. Physically stop the clock and see who’s job you’re actually doing.

If the tasks you’re doing are your own, for your role, great! Keep expanding!

If you find yourself doing tasks that should be done by members of your team, it’s an opportunity for you to learn and change up your leadership technique.

Advanced Stop the Clock Users:

Try this as a leader when you’re on vacation. If you find yourself constantly emailing for updates, that’s another opportunity to course correct. Because your growth is at stake and so is theirs!

Use this information to identify where the gaps are, and course correct. Is the gap in communication? Delegation? Knowledge? Accountability? Once the gap is clear, the actions needed to fill it become evident quickly. Whether it’s to teach your team member how to use a certain tool or put them in contact with another resource or find a better way to communicate.

So, you’re never failing, you’re learning – and learning leads to winning!

Tony Gareri

CEO & Culture Enthusiast

Drawing from firsthand experiences, Tony addresses how a culture evolution can lead to improved business results and happier work environments.

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