Machen MacDonald: Running the human RACE to win at business |

Machen MacDonald: Running the human RACE to win at business

Interacting effectively with co-workers and friends requires the right set of tools, not the least of which is accepting responsibility for one's actions.
Photo courtesy Pixabay

We can all agree that the right tools make a job easier and our time and efforts more productive. The applications of technology have enabled us to exponentially leverage man hours and dramatically accelerate the ability to calculate. What we can now get done in only a few minutes or even seconds with our computers and smart phones would have taken hundreds of thousands of dollars, man hours and other resources just 20 years ago.

Think of an application on your phone you access on a regular basis to effectively conduct your business throughout the day. Now imagine not having that application and having to get the same information, calculation, or result that app kicks out in the same amount of time. You would most likely be surrounded by a team of very skilled people working with absolute diligence and focus and most definitely not at an affordable price point as the single application.

You probably have more than one critical program you take for granted that makes your life easier. The question is what are your internal programs that you use to get yourself to operate more effectively when interacting with the people you lead or are on your team? Hopefully, the human element will always be part of business. We must have the right tools to interact effectively with others. Here are four key tools to help you run the human RACE of business with greater ease:

Respond with all of our ability

We call this playing responsibility game. Consider what tomorrow could look like if we all responded with 100 percent of our ability in every situation. Further more, nobody could make any excuses, blame others or say they were sorry for whatever lame reason that kept them from getting the job done. They could only get the job done right and on time, as if their life depended on it. How much more do you imagine would get accomplished versus any other average day gone by? How much wasted time, money, and energy would be eliminated? A great deal right? By taking responsibility for ourselves and owning our actions and behaviors in a way we can be proud of at the end of the day would certainly win the day. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all arrive with our combined ability to produce absolute perfection? It’s certainly something to shoot for. However, responding with our ability 100 percent of the time is not realistic. Striving for it is. Because we are human, mistakes and setbacks are inevitable. Part of responding with all our ability is to have grace and compassion for our self and others as we find our way.


This is saying what we mean and meaning what we say. Eliminate any ambiguity by clearly sharing information and expectations to formulate role clarity of who is going to do what by when and then keeping the agreement and doing it. The foundation of any high performance culture is trust. If we know and feel we can trust each other to do what we say then we know we are accountable to others and them to us. When this occurs we are not encumbered with pending doubt, fear and anxiety and thereby have more energy and bandwidth to do our best. The ability to be accountable and hold others accountable is in direct proportion to our ability to feel safe from negative repercussion.

Create rather than react

The waste of time, money, and energy that shows up as drama, chaos, and dysfunction can be greatly diminished by stepping out of acting like a victim. When we act like a victim we are holding and presenting ourselves in an inferior way. We are basically arguing for our limitations and claiming we can’t learn, grow, overcome or become better. If we remember, regardless of the situation or circumstances going on around us, we always have the power to choose the most healthy perspective from which to operate, we can always create a new ending. However, if we stay in fear of not achieving our desired outcome we will constantly react to situations. The problem is not the problem. It is our reaction to the problem that is the problem. Look at the two words creator and reactor. Same seven letters except for where the “c” is placed. Change the way you see something and the something you see will change. Be a creator not a reactor.

Excavate for the truth

There are universal truths or principles around how things operate. We know gravity will work the same way 100 percent of the time so we behave in accordance with it and avoid stepping off edge of cliffs. Hopefully, our company has certain principles and standards in place that when adhered to provide predictable outcomes. However, people are always changing and growing. Technology is improving. What was true yesterday may not be true tomorrow. Don’t get too attached to the way something is done or the tools and technology currently in place. Seek better ways to make new and better standards. Continually look to limit or eliminate the waste of time, money and/or energy in all that you do. Bring the new awareness to the team and test it out to become the new standard. Keep digging for the gold.

These are four tools to help us do and feel our best while running in the human race of business. On any given day we may be up in one area and down in another. Ongoing balance is a myth. However, the ongoing pursuit of balance while being in the flow of life is a worthy endeavor.

Here’s to endeavoring with courage.

Make it up, make it fun, and get it done!

#1 bestselling author Machen P. MacDonald, CPCC, CCSC is a certified life and business coach with ProBrilliance Leadership Institute in Grass Valley. He helps business people gain more confidence and clarity to live their ideal life. He can be reached at and 530-273-8000

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