Recently I spent a couple of weeks in a semi-remote First Nation community, where this teaching of mine about achieving goals was translated to Ojibway. If you can pronounce the words, I will give you a free coaching session, to honour the phonetic genius that you are. Heck, I will even give you a free coaching session for trying, and sending your sound or video clip to me. I’m still trying to master the pronunciation. Mbez-heg-i-we-doon Gaa wii’’ izhi chige yaan.
The meaning is this…“come back to what you were doing”. This principle can be applied to so many challenges. When we get off track, we need to come back to doing what we were doing. For example, with a department in conflict, or in a state of lack of productivity, the antidote is to come back to what you were doing, before the conflict. Perhaps the cure will be found in reconnecting with your mission or vision statement, your strategic plan, a review of your goals, or a pensive review of WHY it’s important to be doing what you’re supposed to be doing. Maybe some authentic conversations are needed, to listen more, to understand the circumstances, or just to commit to take the leap and come back to doing what we were doing. There are many ways we can get back on track with this wisdom of mbezhegiwedoon gaawii’izhichigeyaan.
Use this wisdom for goal tracking and get back on track. It’s already the first month of the second quarter of 2019. It seems like yesterday I was munching on Christmas cookies, sipping eggnog and drafting my 2019 strategic plan and goals. Now, a few busy months in, I look at where I’m at, and how I need to come back into alignment with my goals. I do fall off the intended path, and I’m sure you do too, so we need to come back to doing what we are supposed to be doing. I personally do this monthly. It doesn’t take long and helps me return to my centre.
Workplace relationships can be strengthened when we come back to doing what we were doing. Sometimes we get into a stance, conflicted with something or someone, and if we could get through it and come back to doing what we were doing, we would be well on our way to productivity, peace, and profit. Easier said than done, but anything is possible with good intention.
Simon Sinek’s Start With Why concept enables people to inspire those around them and to achieve remarkable things. When you are very clear on WHY you’re supposed to be doing what you’re doing, then you have a close attachment to it. The WHY is often a cause deeper than what it seems on the surface. For example, people work at jobs for reasons beyond their paycheck, they have a deeper reason to help or serve or solve a problem, to make a difference, to be part of something that is making a difference. Reflecting on that root cause is an inspiring way to come back to doing what we were doing.
Whether it’s getting back to the basics, creating new habits or routines, working according to plan, communicating on point or even just remembering why we are here, mbezhegiwedoon gaawii’izhichigeyaan (come back to doing what we were doing) helps us work from our good intention and greater sense of purpose, to be effective, to get through challenges, to build healthy habits, routines, and rituals, and return to our centre and be mindful of how we’re spending our time.
The image above is a group of Health Centre employees in Lac La Croix First Nation, on the Canada US border just above Minnesota. They translated my lesson to Ojibway, and can be seen in the photo standing in their WHY.
Remember, your greatest leadership day is with Penny Tremblay.