Bobby may or may not have finished high school. He worked in a manufacturing plant for years until it closed. Then he began his career in sales. From real estate to cars, Bobby sells them all. He now is pushing seventy and has a lifetime of education and leadership knowledge. We were visiting recently when he said, "An old man once told me that it was ok to look back at the past...just don't stare." He said, "I have tried to live by that rule. I can't help what has happened in the past, but I can learn from it and move on."
What wisdom for all leaders! Things happen in life that are good and bad. While we can’t change our past, we do have the opportunity to learn from the past. There is a balance between living in the past and totally disregarding the past. Neither of those options is helpful. Learning from our past allows us to recognize our mistakes or successes and use them to make us better leaders. Many times we find ourselves in this rat race of life running from one thing to another with out taking the time to slow down and look over our shoulder at where we have been. This blind racing results in us making the same mistakes over and over, or not leveraging things that will make us stronger and more effective leaders.
Bobby may not have graduated from an elite university or prestigious college but he has earned his degree in common sense and life lessons. His advice to me is something that I will hold on to and implement in my leadership journey. Choose to take the time to look at your past and learn valuable lessons. Remember as Bobby says, "don't stare" and you will make a difference.