Monday, March 24, 2014

Accomplishments Disappear...

There once was a game called Tetris. It was an evil and vindictive game, where the player would stack blocks into empty spaces and on top of each other. The intent was to use the blocks to create rows, and once you completed a row, that row would disappear and any blocks above the lines that disappeared would fall to the next level. Today there are many variations built on this concept, but Tetris is what I see when I close my eyes. Even the original game is still available at for your phone.

C4, Emerging Leaders, First Time Managers, Leadership, Explosive Results
The problem with this game is that there would inevitably come a time where you needed a specific piece to appear, but it wouldn't, so you would fill the void with something and try to move on. Or you would make a mistake, causing a gap which you keep stacking on top of, while still tying to complete rows.

Now, the comparison. You work hard, you complete tasks. You may receive a quick kudos (point bump) but then the work continues as more blocks fall from the sky. On the other hand, when you make a mistake, life is unforgiving. More blocks continue to fall, and the mistakes are visible to your entire team. Not only are they visible, but they stay in people's minds as you all continue to your goal. Sometimes, if you work hard enough, you can knock down the rows until you get back to the gap, fill the void you missed the first time and then move on.  In other words, you work hard enough to wipe the mistake from your team's mind.

That however, only seems to happen when you are lucky, and you stay calm. More often, the mistake causes you to stop looking ahead, you keep trying to stack pieces to fix the gap, and you make more mistakes as you scramble. The mistakes stack, and stack, until your entire screen is full of misplaced / mismanaged blocks and anyone who can see your screen knows you failed.

The truth is, that when you are in Command:

Accomplishments Disappear, but Mistakes Stack Up

C4, Emerging Leaders, First Time Managers, Leadership, Explosive Results
 So, what do you do when you make a mistake? Here are some steps to recover:

1. First and foremost, STAY CALM! When you panic, you make more mistakes, stacking one on top of another and creating more problems, and making the team more aware of the issues.

2. Pay attention to not only the block that is falling (your current task) but also the next block (the upcoming task). You need to plan where the current one is going to fall, and where the next one will go as well. This way you can work through the current screen without any more mistakes.

3. Keep an eye out for pieces that will let you recover ground. There will be times when just the right opportunity arrives (the right block) which can clear several rows at once (becomes a large accomplishment); possibly even clearing the path to fix the mistake, or it may even clear all the lines AND fix the mistake, wiping it from your team's memory. 

C4, Emerging Leaders, First Time Managers, Leadership, Explosive Results
from, lines cleared back to a mistake
Even if you get several opportunities for big accomplishments, you may not be able to completely recover from your mistake. It will stay "on the screen" (in people's minds) for as long as you are staying in that game. The trick will be to keep working, and not let the screen fill up with mistakes. 

Lastly, if your screen does fill, don't stop playing. You may need to reset the game and start over, meaning you may need to move to a new position, or job. Remember, in games, we get better with practice. In the real world, you learn from experience. Don't make the same mistakes on the next game. 

No comments:

Post a Comment