Saturday, January 26, 2013

You are much more than your past.

I was recently reminded how some people can’t look beyond what they (think they) know of your past and see that as a reflection of how and who you are now, and in some cases as a gauge of what your potential is in the future. What’s worse is that they may also tarnish in their own eyes any person you know simply because of your association with them.

Personally I’ve made several bad mistakes in business and I’m not too proud to admit it. As I was being reminded of how small-minded some people can be, I thought to myself, “How would I react in the same situation?”.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe is widely attributed as saying that “If you treat an individual as he is, he will remain how he is. But if you treat him as if he were what he ought to be and could be, he will become what he ought to be and could be.”, This is also a core message in the Enhancing Their Gifts System for performance leadership from Ian Berry.

Let’s take a different angle though. When dealing with professionals in the financial services industry who will manage and control our investment capital people generally accept the legal disclaimer that past performance is not a guarantee for future results. By the same token your past performance has no bearing whatsoever on what are doing now, nor can do in the future, nor who you really are.

If someone else has a problem with your past, then they are the ones with the problem. If you believe you need them in order to be able to improve your current situation, think again. They are more of a hindrance to your future than anything else.

Provided you learn from your mistakes and don’t make the same ones twice, making mistakes more than once in past business is usually a good indication that you are dealing with someone who has the fortitude to keep standing up after being knocked down repeatedly and having another go.

So my conclusion, and answer to my own question, “How would I react in the same situation?”, is that I would remain cordial at all times, and I would remove such people from any substantive interaction, or circle of influence. I suggest if you experience this behaviour in others towards you that you do the same.

Bottom line, if people are trying to put you down, most likely they see you as above them in at least some way that is significant enough to them. If they didn’t they would be above making such remarks.

About Paul J. Lange:
Paul J. Lange is a business mentor and business performance coach who helps small to medium enterprise and entrepreneurs to apply big business, enterprise disciplines and solutions to gain a competitive advantage and increase profits. 

Paul's 'Business DIET'© system has helped countless entrepreneurs and business owners around the world to launch start-ups, expand existing operations, and greatly improve bottom lines.

Paul is also one of Australia’s most connected management consultants, and leading business strategists, with a passion for helping corporate leaders, entrepreneurs and business owners who are committed to achieving outstanding results.

Paul’s support will help you to develop strategic direction, implement it, execute and make more money. He will have you starting to work on your business, instead of in your business, right from day one; and if you have already started down this path, he will help you to complete the transition to business owner from business manager.

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