Fix It As Fast As You Find It & Remember to Love Learning

A quick post after seeing an article a friend of mine shared on LinkedIn. The article is a summary of a short podcast interview with Michael Dell. The podcast is called 5 Questions with Dan Schawbel Podcast.

In the podcast, Dell is asked what he has learned that he believes made him a better business person. His first response is “fix it as fast as you find it.” This seems so simple, but it’s so true. Pretty much every day in business, whether you are mostly a leader or mostly an individual contributor, something will come up that is a problem. Dell’s advice, which resonates with my own experience as well as my observations across many organizations, is to tackle it – right away.

Michael goes on to say you may, in fact probably will, botch it the first time around. And then you will learn, and make a next effort. But you have to keep moving forward. You cannot leave problems to fester, or leave them for someone else to deal with. You must be prepared to chart a solution course, and have difficult conversations as / if necessary.

He also talks about how a learning bias and curiosity are two traits he believes have helped him succeed. And two traits he looks for in new executives and employees. This topic came up in a recent conversation with a very successful tech entrepreneur friend of mine. He had gone through some tough challenges recently, and I could tell he was not in a great place. He was carrying a heavy burden and struggling. However, recently when I spoke to him he was in a completely reversed state. I asked him what had happened. He simply said “I remembered how much I like to learn…” Such a great thing to keep front of mind. Every day we have a chance to learn new things. And it is with that open posture toward learning, progress and evolution that one often finds a groove in which to make progress and glean more enjoyment out of life.