I had a lengthy conversation with my family the other day about keeping track of lessons in all we do.
You see, I was fortunate enough to be a part of some fascinating teams at Raytheon, EDS & the VA and also in some of the small businesses I’ve been a part of.
One of the skills I fine-tuned and have mastered over the years relates to reflecting on and thinking through what is appropriately called “Lessons Learned”.
Typically done & thought about only during project close outs, I found it much easier to document thoughts, processes, decisions & reasoning as I went.
A few things are critical as it relates to these writings though, else they’re meaningless.
First, they have to be objective & concrete. Facts are critical. Subjective thoughts, feelings or intangibles are hard to quantify and learn from.
Second, they have to be written with a purpose. As in, who is it for? What circumstances did this happen under? What can be gleaned from this experience?
Third, what went right and why or can be better next time? The more you can identify that led to a particular positive result the better. The more you can identify that reduces the chances for future failures, the better.
Fourth, they need to be communicated to all stakeholders to ensure everyone levels up and wins, either by being part of the success or by knowing more about how to do avoid problems later on.
Can we all do this is our everyday life? Absolutely! And we should, at least to some extent.
Truth be told, we all do this just by surviving, but the intentional act of writing it down and thinking through events in an objective non-emotional way can be life-altering.
Like, you literally avoid doing dumb stuff over and over.
So, here’s to learning lessons and to Lessons Learned.
Get better. Enjoy life more.
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