Thinking about how to approach work in 2013, I recenter back to trying to make a sustainable difference in the long term trajectory of Cokes business in the US. It is not easy and it does require hard work. I have to accept our environment “where it is” as well as being OK with my place in it. I need to remember that I am in a place where I can influence things in a positive direction. Three things are important to remember: most of our people do want to do the right thing, most are looking to make a difference, and most have a blind spot. So, I am like most people.
It means I want clarity on what the right thing is, I want to contribute, and I need feedback. We also need to recognize that most folks feel like they have been trying to go down this path. So, work going forward needs to show respect to the work already on the field. Not to accpet it 100% carte blanche, but to start by understanding what it is trying to do and its success so far. Then, unconstrained, where would the work go this year More to come …. Sometimes you catch a break sometimes you don’t. My sense is that people focus on the times when breaks don’t go your way: your team doesn’t win, the light turns red, stuff like that.
I probably do that. At the same time, you don’t appreciate when the breaks do go your way: the scale surprises you, you find money on the ground. The right answer may be to appreciate the good and focus less on the other “One cannot get through life without pain.. What we can do is choose how to use the pain life presents to us. ” – Harvey Oxenhorn We never plan for pain, though intellectually we know it will come. Think back to Ray Gotko The topic of relentless continuous improvement comes to mind. I find that there is always opprtunity to improve and the alternative is ugly.
The opportunity to improve is usually prompted by a mistake or failure. Emotionally it is frustrating or disappointing. Failure to act allows the feeling to linger. Lack of action or procrastination was my early career norm. I finally realized I was being very hard on myself, feeling helpless,a nd treading water while the solution was in my own hands. Focus on improvement and taking constructive action made me feel batter and actually made a difference in my own capability and ability to impact a situation. I became more organized, more focused, a better role model, and a better leader
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