“Thanks for coming in, please close the door behind you.”

Your pulse just quickened didn’t it? Hands started to sweat a bit? Lump in your chest?

We’ve all been there. But not all “close the door” talks end with Security handing you an empty cardboard box to fill and carry out.

Homer D'oh!In my 21 years of professional life, I’ve learned:

  1. Mistakes happen: You lose your cool, you drop the ball, you get lackadaisical.
  2. They make you better: ONLY if you learn from them.
  3. Fix the problem first: Look for the cause later so it doesn’t happen again. By no means assign blame.
  4. Even if you’re “right,” you can be VERY wrong: There’s a time and place to push back – sometimes, it’s NEVER!
  5. Slip-ups are like power-boosters:

The initial reaction, assuming you’re still collecting a paycheck, is to over-fix the problem. I’m never “better” at new business than when a current contract expires. If I make a minor (or major) blunder, I not only fix it, but strive to show even more value. But why is this only AFTER “the talk?”

I believe that these events focus us. You don’t want to dwell on the issue of the past and there may not be a future … so you focus on this moment. With limited distractions, you put all efforts into right now.

Insert Brain HereAll of this insight holds true whether you’re at work or at home with your significant other. And it got me to thinking…

If we lived every day like we were about to get $#@%canned, how sharp and productive would we be? What if you woke up every morning, looked at your spouse and thought, “is this the day they come to their senses and realize they married below them?” Would you be more likely to clean the toothpaste out of the sink or cook a nice meal for the family?

While none of us want to foul-up, and we certainly don’t want to live life on the edge of disaster, a little regularly-scheduled reality check can help break us out of the laissez-faire and focus us.

If you love your life today, put the effort in NOW so you you’ll never have to hear, “we need to talk.”

In addition to being a bank and credit union strategic consultant, MarketMatch also has nationally and internationally requested speakers. Contact us to bring our marketing ideas to your institution or next conference.

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