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I Knew I Shoulda Taken That Left Turn At Albuquerque

I always enjoyed how Bugs Bunny got into his messes.  Of course, being the "male of the species" we don't tend to stop and ask directions.  It always seemed as though Albuquerque was the black-hole that sent him into all sorts of zany situations.

Where is YOUR Albuquerque?  (And no, it's probably not in New Mexico.)

Where is the point where a course correction is necessary?

Simply put, here are some pointers to determine when a course correction may be necessary:

  1. Listen to your gut - are you hearing more excuses and blame than results?  Are things "not quite right"?  Are you tossing and turning at night? These are indicators you may have missed your left turn.
  2. Check the data - find out what measures can support your instincts.  It's hard to argue against cold, hard facts.
  3. Admit you are going in the wrong direction - this is a big one.  If you can't admit your project or department (or even your own career) missed the big carrot festival, then it's going to be hard to fix the problem.
  4. Backtrack - don't spend a lot of time on this one (i.e., playing the blame game).  If you can figure out where you went wrong, though, you can avoid it in the future.  In other words, find Albuquerque.
  5. Apologize to the wronged - swallow your ego and admit you made a mistake (even if it's just to yourself).  Asking forgiveness will help you build support for the next direction you take.  It's a big credibility booster.
  6. Determine the end game - where do you REALLY want to go?  What does the future state look like?  How soon do you need to be there?
  7. Identify your resources - who can help you get to the big carrot festival with no bull?  Use your subject matter experts.  People like to be asked.
  8. Start - too often we stay mired in mistakes... either out of shame or inertia.  If you know you're in the wrong place, do something about it.  Don't let it get worse.

As somebody who almost was gored at a bullfight in Mexico, I can honestly say that you really don't want to miss that left turn at Albuquerque.

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