The world swirls all around us. And truth pushing denial aside, probably more within. I remember a compelling statement from a theologian and psychiatrist, Edwin Friedman, who said the key to being a leader is, especially in conflict, Be a non-anxious presence, keep eye contact and always self-differentiate.
Especially in a swirling world.
When not everything is good and valued—and truth again pushing here—at times nothing goes right or well or becomes unforgettable.
How often it is, though, when our name is mentioned, only one thing is remembered…it’s like a hammer to our head and hands to our throat, a headline on our obituary. What we are known for. And in many instances, what we have done that is the flub.
Ever heard the name Leon Lett? What about Bill Buckner?
Now added to that lexicon of screw-ups is…well, read it from Yahoo:
She performed live in front of a television audience of millions week in and week out on Season 10 of “American Idol,” but at the Detroit Lions/Green Bay Packers game on Thanksgiving, Lauren Alaina’s nerves got the best of her as she flubbed the National Anthem. Unlike Christina Aguilera, who, at last year’s Super Bowl actually sang the wrong lyrics to “The Star-Spangled Banner,” but kept singing, on Thursday, Lauren completely went silent for about five seconds in the middle of the song. “What so proudly we hailed, through the twi…” she trailed off into silence.
Lauren was able to jump back in on the line, “Whose broad stripes and bright stars…” and, with a smile on her face, finished to the delight of the patrons in the sold-out stadium, who cheered loudly.
The question is, at least pushes me with the most insistence: not IF we flub. But, how do we handle it? How important does it become in the next day, the next year, the next decade, the rest of our life?
For instance, I could tell you the Easter morning when I overslept and missed the worship service led by youth…their minister was the chairman of our Campus Ministry Foundation Board of Directors. Or the time I forgot a wedding and was called by the church janitor 20 minutes before the wedding…and I hadn’t showered.
But, that’s not the point. Not that we stay more than arm’s length from flubs.
But, what is our response?
Have a couple of suggestions: acknowledge imperfection is a reality…for everyone. And acknowledge we can look at ALL life’s experiences as educators. WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED? And, as I’ve championed this before, We are not someone else’s opinion.
What I liked…and it was spontaneous…was FOX’s TV Announcer Joe Buck’s response…it’s all about how you finish. [Truth pushing here: I believe whenever I hear the name Joe Buck I will remember his graciousness…so what we remember is on us…how about only remembering the benefit, the good, the charitable, the most valued?]
But, best of all was Lauren Alaina’s own response to a comment on line understanding the flub: …”thank you so much,” Lauren responded. “I’m not a robot. I have No excuses. I messed up. You know what can ya do. At Least didn’t fall down again.”