What do you do when things go wrong?

Do you whine, complain, sigh, blame, moan, resign yourself to misery or open a bottle of your tipple of choice?

Or do you say “Ok, let’s make a plan” “Bring it on!”, do you smile and make the best of it, rise to the challenge, ask what can you learn, step up and own the problem?

I’ve been speaking to people about things going wrong and I’ve been trying to find the magic steps for success, the 7 habits, to quote a famous thought leader, and whilst there are things we can list that help and behaviours we can adopt or practices we can put in place the biggest single factor is, I think, a ‘crack on’ mindset.

It’s easy to operate well when things are going well. We communicate clearly, organise ourselves wisely, we execute on time and under budge. But, back in the real world, things go wrong. So, I’m asking you, what do you do when things go wrong? Honestly, what is your reaction? Can do or can’t do?

My experiences suggests the people who prevail roll up their sleeves and crack on, looking forward not backwards. I’m not talking unrelenting positivity, although this can help, I’m not talking blind optimism, this is naive.  I’m simply saying the folks that have an irrepressible energy to get things sorted are the ones who succeed or at least seem to have a happier time of it.

It doesn’t need to be a huge trauma or massive problem to make a start with this approach. We can model the ‘bring it on’ people in our day-to-day, when the train is late, when the traffic is heavy, when our boss is being difficult or micro managing us, when the team haven’t done what they said they would or when the client changes their mind.

Now I know it’s hard, it can take effort. We feel annoyed and frustrated, demotivated, uninterested or uninspired. The problem can feel like someone else’s fault or responsibility. There are a million reasons why this solution won’t work or that idea will fall on deaf ears so what do you do? You’ve tried and something has gone wrong … again. So what do you do when things go wrong? Same question. Do you give up? Or do you go for it? Look for a work around, an alternative and choose to try again.

All the time, at any moment, we can answer the question, what do I do when things go wrong? And then, do the right thing or don’t but be prepared to have to live with the outcomes. Your choice.

What do you do when things go wrong? … Because it surely will.