Painting Silver Linings

With over 43 inches of rainfall this year already, the weather has certainly hindered our work activity. There have been days when work has ceased completely, and there have been other times when the weather has made working quite difficult and slow — yet we pressed on.

This unusually high rainfall has brought out one of my favorite sayings: We don't control the clouds that pass overhead, yet it is our job to paint the silver lining.

Even though we can't control whether or not clouds move into our lives, we can control how we respond to them. I visualize we've each been given a can of paint and paintbrush, and it's our responsibility to paint the silver lining around the clouds that pass overhead. A silver lining is visible around a cloud because there is something brighter behind it, and even though it may be difficult to see at times, you must have faith that it is there.

In a literal sense, there is a silver lining behind all of the rainfall. It has given BEI managers the opportunity to show their flexibility in creating plans B, C, D & more! We have conducted additional training and worked to secure additional backlog of work.

However, even though we cannot control the clouds that pass overhead, we do need to recognize there are times when difficult situations could have been avoided entirely — or at least the effects diminished significantly. For example, we would not be doing our due-diligence if we did not coordinate our projects with the other contractors on the jobsite. Our projects would be off schedule all the time. We know that it takes thoughtful planning with everyone involved to develop a smoothly running jobsite.

Unfortunately, we often see others dealing with the fallout from situations that were their responsibility to control in the first place. Perhaps they should have taken more time to plan, or perhaps they could have communicated with others earlier than they did.

To create our own silver linings and avoid frustrating situations, we must take the following steps:

  1. First look at what you are able to control in the situation. Remember, we can't control the clouds overhead, but we can control how we respond to them.
  2. Then ask yourself: How can I influence this situation for a more positive outcome? Perhaps more thoughtful planning, or better communication or conduct can improve the impact.
  3. Finally, to the extent that you cannot do either of those things, then determine the mindset that it is your responsibility to deal with it and work around it.
A lot of the challenges in life and in business can be resolved when we keep those ideals in that priority. Remember not to fret about what you cannot control; instead, take on the responsibility of painting a silver lining by your actions in response to things that go differently than expected.