I went to see the movie, “Hidden Figures” last weekend and really enjoyed it!  It was an uplifting story about what perseverance can achieve.  Three brilliant African American women were the brains behind the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit at a time when women, let alone African-American women were not considered important or involved in anything important.

One of the women ran the group of colored women known as human computers (although wasn’t recognized as a supervisor).  As a new contraption came on board (an IBM computer), she realized they would be without a job.  Instead of digging her head into the sand or complaining, she found a way to continue to provide value.  She taught herself Fortran (computer language) and developed the group into computer operators.  Do you take this approach with much less threatening situations?

One tip to implement this week:

I find that we have gotten into a bit of a rut – there is a lot of complaining, talk about “they” causing problems, and looking for blame in organizations.  This week, let’s jar ourselves out of this rut!

The next time you think about a frustrating topic or someone brings up a topic and wants you to commiserate about the sad state of affairs in your company, department, government or whatever else might arise, STOP.   Think about these brave women in Hidden Figures who were at a much higher risk for just doing a good job.  How could you respond to the situation more productively?

Can you find a solution?  Can you brainstorm with your colleagues to contribute to a solution or path forward?  If nothing comes to mind, perhaps follow the old school route of these women – get a book to stir ideas.  You probably won’t even have to steal one from the library!  These days, we can find almost anything we need on the internet.  Or, get in touch with a trade or industry organizations.  There are countless resources available – and we don’t have nearly the roadblocks on our road to success that these women in Hidden Figures experienced.  Think solution; not roadblock.

Persevere and I bet success and personal fulfillment will follow.

© Lisa Anderson

January 13, 2017