Always look to see how to make things better

In case you have not looked at our website recently, right up in the header, in addition to our logo, is the statement “making things better.” This came about as a result of a retreat we did a few months back with a branding consultant to see if we could get to the heart of the matter of how we at Unshackled Leadership Co. are different from others.

Bottom line: when we take on a project, any project, what we do is make things better! If your sales are not what they need to be, we make them better. If your profits are not what they need to be, we make them better. If your level of teamwork is not what it needs to be, we make it better. I hope that you get the point.

What has somewhat unexpectedly come out of this for me is that in every area of my life, I am always looking to see how to make things better. I will give you a couple of examples because I am encouraging you to do the same. In other words, as you go through your day, whether at work or at home, keep looking to see how to make things better.

My wife Lois and I have been on vacation for the last 5 days. At the end of each day, we review what we did for the day and ask: how we could have made the day better. The point is not to criticize the day, but to learn from the day so that the next time, we could make it better. So, for example, the first day we were in Santa Barbara and ate at two of my favorite restaurants there. For lunch, we ate at The Natural Café and for dinner, we ate at The Sojourner. Now I had it in my mind that the first one was for lunch and the later was for dinner. However, I so much more enjoyed The Sojourner, in asking how we could have made the day better, the answer was: next time in Santa Barbara, let us have lunch and dinner at The Sojourner.

Now that might not sound like such a big deal, but it really is because now I am looking forward to our next getaway to Santa Barbara and having a couple of meals at this great restaurant that we both really like.

On a more personal level, there have been a couple of times during the trip where we got irritated with each other, even though I hate to admit it (I am human you know.). Each time, when the dust settled, we asked: how could we have handled that better? If I did not ask myself that question, I would have missed seeing that I still have to work on my patience, which is not my strongest quality.

This is where I think the question I’m suggesting has its greatest applicability, in our relationships, both personally and at work. After all, it’s surely our experience that interpersonal relationships are our biggest challenge. After all, the world we live in is set up for arguments, conflict, competition, pettiness, righteousness and gossiping. I’m confident you see that all the time. So, whenever you experience any of those things, stop and ask: how can I handle that situation better. If the other person involved is willing to engage with you, ask: how could we have handled that better.

I’m committed to eating really well. At the end of the day, I look to see how well I stuck to my eating plan and ask: how could I have done it better? I’m also committed to exercising regularly. At the end of each day, I ask: how could I have done it better? I’m committed to staying centered, present and in the moment. At the end of the day, I ask: how could I have conducted myself today better.

I really encourage you to take this on and let me know what impact it has on you. As you can see from my examples, it has had a huge impact on me and in a very positive way. Try it. I think you will be happy if you do.