I recently had a coaching conversation with an employee at a client company. We discussed a difficult situation that had occurred and the employee asked “Can I have a do-over”?

I asked what she meant and what would she “do-over”?

The employee asked if we could turn back the clock and forget that the difficult situation had occurred. I asked if she knew a way to turn back the clock to please tell me as there were a number of situations in my history that I might erase or do-over if given the chance.

The corner of her mouth turned up in a sheepish grin and she said “No, I don’t have a secret pill or a way to reverse time; I was just hoping we could forget that this situation had occurred.”

I said, we can! Don’t let the situation happen again, and it will be as though this conversation never occurred.

I remembered a quote Your history is not your destiny”. Does this apply to management and leadership? Absolutely! If employees adopted this principle they would ask, “How can I add more value to the company, my job and my career?” If the company adopted this principle, managers and leaders would ask “How can we motivate, retain and engage employees to add more value to the organization in the future?” In addition, managers and leaders might be surprised if they asked the question “What is getting in the way of your accomplishing your job? What does the company need to do-over?’ When leaders focus on destiny versus history, the company “do-over”, and what is “getting in the way”, they quickly identify and hack the policies and processes that impact employee motivation, service and creativity. Leaders can then fill this void with training, benefits and coaching that generate loyalty, and increased productivity and revenue.

You may be asking, “What happened with the employee who wanted the do-over?” I asked what caused her to have the behavior and what the company could do to avoid a repeat performance. The employee thanked me for asking and shared a few ideas that were creative and impactful. I thanked her for offering solutions and told her we had just invented the company ”do over”.