Address Setbacks As Quickly As Possible

While making progress every day is a key to a positive work life, it would be naive to think there won’t be setbacks.

When setbacks come, the trick is to act to change the momentum as quickly as possible.

One of the athletic coaches I admire most, most of you haven’t heard of. His name is Glen Rutenbar. He coaches the girl’s softball team at our local high school in Bartow.

I became a fan of his when my daughter played for him. He had a plan. He maintained discipline. His teams always got better. They achieved great success. Year after year. It’s been 12 years since my daughter played for him. My wife and I still buy season tickets.

Glen understands a leader’s responsibility to nip negative setbacks in the bud.

He does an interesting thing when an error is made. He always calls timeout.

He gathers the team together. He processes what just went wrong. He communicates what needs to happen now. He makes sure everyone has the right focus, which is not to lose focus because of the error but to be focused on what’s next so that the error can be overcome.

It works. Most coaches don’t call timeout and it costs them. One error becomes two or three. A big inning occurs and the game is lost.

It’s a lesson for each of us. Don’t let a day with a setback cause it to become a week of setbacks.

Take a timeout. Gather yourself. Set a direction for a positive result. Go get it done. It’s a winning strategy.