A favorite question of my mentor Michele Woodward is Why did you draw this experience to you?
A client of mine is a great example and here is his story. Hal did sales for 10 years at a company with a co-worker who was described by people as a ‘pompous, arrogant, condescending, know-it-all, blow-hard’.
Hal moved on to another opportunity and quickly made a big sale to a fast growing business and then in succession made several more. One of the owners told him they had purchased the same and similar products from another company in the past but really couldn’t stand doing business with that organization because of an extremely arrogant sales person.
Why did Hal draw 10 years of working with his former colleague? Because he needed to really understand what arrogance looks and acts like.
Why did you draw this experience to you? is such a revealing question.
Unfortunately, some lessons take a long time. If pain and frustration are involved, even a brief period seems like forever.
And about the bad stuff – it’s not a failure but a lesson on the road to figuring things out. I believe I heard Tom Peters explain that in Silicon Valley having worked for failed start-ups is a positive because so much is learned from those experiences.
Would love to hear what you are thinking.