get mad, then get over it

This is part 2 in the series of blog posts about Colin Powell’s 13 rules.

In the last post, we talked about Colin Powell’s rule #1, which was “It ain’t as bad as you think.”  The title of this post is rule #2:  “Get mad, then get over it.”

For those of you who know me, it is difficult to imagine me getting mad.  (Maybe you should talk to my kids about this, though.)  But like many technical artists, my “mad” manifests itself in more of a passive way.

When working on a production, there are so many opportunities to get angry about something that isn’t going my way.  For the Leadership Summit a few years ago, we had created a set that made it very difficult for the audio team to do their job to the best of their ability.  Fortunately for me (sarcasm), the team didn’t hesitate to get mad about it to me.  Unfortunately (not sarcasm), by that time it was too late to change it, and we needed to just push through.

Once the event was done, we talked about it some more, and we were able to build trust that we would keep the audio team in the loop better next time.  The other thing that I communicated was that the needs of audio aren’t always the most important, and that the specific event is always going to cause us to compromise in some way.  There needed to be trust that I would fight for what they needed, and trust that I would take the heat if audio failed because of a decision I was making.

Don’t let anger build up.

This story is probably a backwards way of talking about this value of getting mad then getting over it, but what I loved was that someone did get mad about this situation and now we have gotten over it.  So often, tech people hang onto their anger and let it build up.  That build up get then cause us to get mad way more than is normal.

Express your anger at an appropriate time.

The other great part about this story is that they got mad at an appropriate time.  There weren’t any blow-ups in a rehearsal, in front of the whole team.  They didn’t show their anger to all the volunteers.  They talked directly with me, the leader.  We were able to talk about this on the side and figure out how to move on without dragging the whole team down.

Getting mad can help create momentum

There is nothing wrong with getting mad.  There are many times that getting mad helps move me from my complacency.  Sometimes getting mad helps me take a good risk that I might be too afraid to take.  Sometimes getting mad helps me stand up for what I need instead of just taking another one for the team.

The trick for us technical artists is getting mad, working it out, then getting over it. 

Staying mad about something that happened months or years ago, doesn’t help anyone.

It is what makes so many tech people cynical and bitter. 

For those of us doing technical arts in the local church, this is not what Christ had in mind when he designed you, or what he wanted His church to look and feel like.

Read Matthew 18.  It’s a great framework of how to get mad, then get over it.


The next post is about Colin Powell’s #3 rule:

Avoid having your ego so close to your position that when your position falls, your ego goes with it.

photo by: thethreesisters