Lessons Learned on the Road
I had bicycled nearly 300 miles into stiff headwinds from Hurricane Ian, which heightened the pain and added to my fatigue. It’s not supposed to feel like this.
I was popping ibuprofen and acetaminophen like candy, sitting on bags of ice at night, and considering other ways to reduce the pain.
I was treating the symptoms because I didn’t know the cause.
My coach, Chuck Kyle, did. After a few more days of this, I called him and let him know what I was experiencing. He asked a few follow-up questions and told me my seat was out of alignment. Angle your seat forward 1mm.
I trusted my coach, but I could not see how such a small change would make any difference. I made the adjustment, skeptical of the impact.
Yes! This is how it’s supposed to feel!
No more pain. The next 1200 miles felt terrific.
We tend to think proportionally. A small lesson change makes a small impact; a big lesson change makes a big impact. We resist making small changes because we believe they’ll be inconsequential and assume significant changes will be too painful or create massive side effects.
This mentality keeps most people stuck in painful ruts or flailing in swamps of frustration.
Here’s the difference: the right small changes to the correct issues have significant impacts and little downside. The key is to affect the causes rather than the symptoms.
I find the 1mm rule also works for good leaders and coaches. The good ones don’t require massive interventions, and the bad ones don’t want help.
The good ones need 1mm adjustments to what’s causing pain and not working quite right. Having the right trusted adviser gets you to identify the cause quickly and make the subtle lesson changes that lead to success.
What if you could take away the nagging aches that bog you down? What would you do with the new time and energy?
- “I feel drained at the end of each day. How do I stop feeling this way?”
- “I’ve got more direct reports, and I rarely see them. What should I do to help them without them feeling micromanaged?”
- “One of my direct reports is resisting the changes we need to make. How do I get them on board?”
Get more action steps about leadership and accountability in these recent podcast interviews:
Conflict management and leadership in Wake-up Call hosted by Mark Goulston. https://mywakeupcall.libsyn.com/ep-370-chris-kolenda
Gaining buy-in: Way of Champions podcast, John O’Sullivan and Jerry Lynch: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/292-christopher-kolenda-retired-us-army-colonel-on/id1223779199?i=1000581115154
Leaders as exemplars in Get Uncomfortable with Shae McMaster: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/get-uncomfortable/id1557553154?i=1000575764193
How to get good at getting better: Getting Down to Business with Shalom Klein. https://anchor.fm/shalom-klein/episodes/Podcast-of-Get-Down-To-Business-with-Shalom-Klein–08142022—Chris-Kolenda–Chris-Kolenda-and-Kimberly-Janson-e1mbu0q