“You’re not good at math.”

I still remember the day my father made this proclamation after reviewing my Report Card. At that precise moment, I was given the right to pass Go, collect $200 and never do well in math.
It was a great paradigm for me until I wanted to go to Graduate School and the Director suggested I needed to take a calculus class.
“But sir, I’m not good at math and I stand before you today with a college degree and have never taken algebra.”
The Director’s response was not like my dad’s.
“Son, (what an appropriate greeting) you need to get good at math right now.”

There’s a long story attached to how I became very proficient at Calculus and graduate level statistics but suffice it to say…

I needed to throw away old scripts.

Throughout life, people say things to us and about us that can lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy. We pick-up a label and begin to live it.

The same thing happens in business. A business can be scripted from the top of the organization or the bottom…

“Our employees won’t ever…”
“Good help is so hard to find”
“You never do things right”

Employees have their own running scripts about their bosses…

“All you care about is money.”
“You don’t notice all the good we do around here”
“You prove the Peter Principle in every meeting”

Scripts are dangerous patterns that set a course of a behavior. We have to be careful what we say.

But we need to be even more careful of what we hear.

I don’t accept scripts in my life…good or bad. I realize I have to produce every day.

Fact based decision making beats opinion based rants.

I’m actually quite good at math.


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