I am not naïve enough to suggest that every process is perfect, but I am convinced that well-thought-out ones, when followed, produce outstanding results on a consistent basis. My question and challenge to you today is why do we ignore them and attempt to circumvent them only to ensure our own failure? I see this so much in career transition where I am focused. In my mind, I see three possible reasons. First one: I have not used this process before so I’m not convinced completely that really works. Second one: I am impatient and I want the results yesterday. Third one: I know everything and I can ignore or change this process and be more successful. Now keeping this in mind let me relate it to a real situation I’m currently involved in.

I am currently in Denver, Colorado, actually about 50 miles southwest of Denver Colorado at about 9000 feet. I am here training for a half marathon on May 19th in Denver. I have some wonderful friends that allow me to stay with them during this two-week period. This is my second year. Let me share with you what I experienced the first year. First, I accepted the fact that I’m not an expert in this area and I needed to seek out experts. Why did I need to seek out experts? I did because most of my running takes place in Houston and in Atlanta. The cities are at approximately 34 feet above sea level and 900 feet above sea level respectively. As you all know, Denver is the mile high city that puts it at approximately 5280 feet. This fact alone created much concern and apprehension on my part. So after talking with many experts I developed a process that would help me adjust and perform at this level respectably. I had never executed this process but I knew I had to stick to it. I had to be patient and have faith in it. Believe me, that was a challenge on many days. When I say many days I felt like I was coughing up a lung, most you would understand that. I didn’t feel the process was working for me, but I said I’m going to stick with it because people who knew better said it would work. And in the end, when I ran the event, it was one of the best runs of my life. As I mentioned, I am now back in Colorado and using the same exact process. The major difference this year is that I know the process works. Last year, I had to do it on faith and by accepting my experts’ expertise. Having experienced the process with success also added to my confidence.

What is my point? We cannot be experts in everything, accept that, and find an expert to help you build the process. Now once you are done with the experts, create the process. Then comes the tough part. Adhere to the process without circumventing it or changing it and no matter how impatient you become or concerned over your progress, stick with it. Stay focused on incremental gains not huge ones. Accept that you will have minor setbacks and you will have your bad days but in the end you will have a successful journey. Proven processes are tools for success. Stick with them and you will improve your chances for both significant and consistent success greatly. When you become the expert in that area, then you can make those changes to the process, but not before.

Author: Jim Wiederhold

Jim believes his 39 years of experience--particularly his more than 26 years in healthcare--has prepared him well for what he does. His wealth of experience spans key areas, including finance, operations, management, leadership, sales and sales management, corporate, contingency, contractual and retained recruiting, outplacement and transition work and executive coaching.