23 May 2019
You should never let the sun go down on a disagreement.
My gran would often say this. It’s something that always resonated with me, not only in my personal life but in business too. Why prolong an argument and continue to waste energy and time on it, when you could take a more positive path, draw a line and move on?
Along the same vein, Sir Richard Branson once told me a story about ensuring that you never burn a bridge with people who worked in your businesses, when you could instead leave on a positive note.
He frames this as when someone leaves your team you have a choice. You can either take it as an insult, leaving on bad terms, or you can wish them well. You can offer them your support and recognise that it isn’t an insult! People invariably develop and learn new skills over time. So, when you do the latter, you either have employees who return to the business with new experience or, if they don’t come back, you end up with friends in high places.
It all comes down to the same thing, really. In its simplest terms, wherever and whenever you can, draw a line and move. Don’t bear a grudge or drag your feet. As another cliché says: ‘Don’t cut off your nose to spite your face!’
It’s all too easy to be swept up in the short term emotion of airing your differences or frustrations at someone leaving. Especially when you’re passionate and goal-oriented. However, it takes just as much energy to dig a hole as it does to build a mountain – which has the better outcome? Would you rather dig yourself into a hole or stand atop a mountain?
The bigger picture
I am also a firm believer that we cross paths with people for a reason. Often we don’t know what that reason is and it only becomes clear much further down the line. It’s amazing, really, how the people you encounter bring new elements to your life further down the line.
I remember years ago when we were helping a family to restore a sensory room they’d built for their child, that had been destroyed in an arson attack. It was over the Christmas and New Year break. Of course, building firms were closed for the holidays but one company that I reached out to did come to help. Years later, I used them when we needed the flooring in our Campus, and we’ve done more together since.
When you look beyond the short-term, the quick win, you see a much bigger opportunity, the bigger picture, and develop a long-lasting, positive relationship.