In life, and in business, rules, guidelines, systems and processes provide the checks and balances we need to live consistently and successfully. However, I find that in both cases, we often get so caught up in “what is” that we struggle with even considering the needed changes that will lead us to “what could be.” So, are you ready for the story behind my most recent “ah ha” moment? 😂
We’ve always had a least one dog, and the rule has always been NO DOGS on the couch in the living room. Joe and Tess, who are both 13, and have been with us for most of their lives, have no problem following this rule. Then came Georgia, who is now 16 months old, fully grown, and also now fully “herself.” She’s been pretty good with the no dogs on the couch rule, until there’s someone outside and she’s compelled to do her job….
Shar Pei’s were originally bred to be guard dogs, so it’s in her DNA to protect the house and her “people” in it. Unfortunately, in order to do this she needs to be able to see out the window, and the only way to do that is from on the couch. Not her fault, and with nowhere else to move it, I was left with a dilemma as far as my “no dogs rule” goes.
I spent a few weeks trying to “correct” the behavior, but she’s just as stubborn as I am, and doing her job was more important than listening to mom. Then I moved on to other possible solutions, which lead me to a realization… the only real reason I don’t want the dogs on the couch is because I don’t want them to get it dirty.
Solving the real problem quickly became much easier than keeping her off of the couch. And with the holidays just around the corner, I decided to have a little fun and ventured off to the fabric store for a temporary and inexpensive solution. Now we have a fun “holiday couch”, Georgia is happily on guard, and mom can live with it while we keep working on her training.
In our businesses, the inability to think differently or approach a challenge from a new perspective usually stems from the “we’ve always done it this way” or “that’s always been the rule” thought process. The next time you find yourself facing a new challenge, or someone or something challenging the “rules,” I encourage you to step back, look deeper and determine the true reason behind the rule in the first place. Sometimes they have to stay (like no biting your brother 😂) and sometimes they can be adjusted as your business and team grows. The key lies in remaining open to all of the possibilities, choosing the best option for everyone, and maybe even having a little fun with it if you can. Happy holidays from our family to yours. ❤️