Tuesday, 30 April 2019 10:36

Problems Are Opportunities!

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There are many commonalities between the homeless living on Skid Row, the mediocre, and the successful.


Each might have received a low or high degree of education. Each might have been born into a humble or affluent family. And the universal commonality: each has been knocked down many times in life. The homeless man has given up; the mediocre seeks safety and security to avoid being knocked down again; and the successful takes risks and keeps getting back up!


When you truly get to know and understand the most successful men and women in the collision repair industry, you may be surprised to learn how many struggles they too have been through to get where they are today. The big difference is how they view struggle.


Life gives us tremendous blessings every day called “problems.” Sure, on the surface, problems seem more like, well, a problem. However, while we usually don’t like them, how they are acknowledged makes a world of difference in one’s ability to succeed at the highest levels.


The unsuccessful man encounters a problem and says, “Well, I won’t try that again!” The successful man says, “Well, that wasn’t very fun, but what can I learn from this to do better next time?”


The unsuccessful woman says, “Oh, gee, what have I done to deserve this struggle?” The successful woman says, “I won’t pretend this struggle is fun, but I honor it and know it is necessary to grow to my next level of success.”


Some of the world’s best collision repairers also take a different stance on failures from an operational standpoint. Great companies like Toyota have taught us that exposing problems and system failures should be viewed as a positive, not a negative. Those who are diligent about continuous improvement know that you cannot improve flawed processes unless the flaws are first exposed. The same can also be said about improving one’s self. Unfortunately, most shops’ cultures do not allow for this positive attitude towards failure; instead, they follow a “try everything in our power to cover up problems” approach.


Those who are stuck in the victim zone are rarely open-minded enough to take such a constructive approach to improvement. A great deal of self-confidence is required to be proactive in problem-solving. It requires a willingness to set ego aside long enough to discover the areas of opportunity in either one’s self or their business.

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