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Friday, May 27, 2011

Do or don't do, there is no try...

We get a daily report card from Jack's school detailing the events of his day, including his behavior. Yesterday when I asked Rochelle how Jack's day was she said, "not so good, look at his report card." In looking at Jack's daily report card and in listening to Rochelle describe his day I read that Jack's teacher had written that "Jack was trying to be mean to the other children." He was evidently pushing the other children, taking things from them, pulling hair, you know, toddler stuff. After I kind of snickered about it I told Rochelle that it appears to me that Jack wasn't trying to be mean, he WAS being mean, there is a difference.

I was reminded of Yoda's statement to Luke Skywalker (Star Wars) in the mossy swamp as Luke was trying to lift his X-Wing Fighter out of the swamp using only his mind. Luke was struggling and told Yoda that "he was trying." Yoda responded emphatically, "do or don't do, there is no try."

Jack wasn't trying to be mean, he was doing what he set out to do, whether he knew it was mean or not. A lot of people spend a lot of time "trying" to do something but never really accomplishing anything. That is their is excuse for not getting something done: "I'm trying." These people generally always have an excuse why they can't accomplish the task at hand. It's too hard (or heavy in Luke's case), I don't have the right resources, it's someone else's fault I can't get it done. We've all heard the excuses and probably used some ourselves.

"Do or don't do, there is no try." Many times our "trying" is just an excuse for not doing. As leaders we need to empower people to "Do." If they fail, at least they did something. It's when nothing gets done, and people use the excuse of "I'm trying" that we have failed as leaders and they have failed too.

Do or don't do today, but either way, stop using the excuse of "I'm trying." And, stop excepting the excuse of "I'm trying."

Just think about it, I think Yoda was on to something. Jack, while I don't approve of you being mean, at least you weren't trying, you were DOING little boy. Now, mom and dad just need to teach you what is and is not appropriate to do.

Lead strong,


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