For the last few months, we’ve been preparing for new and exciting challenges at Solutions 21 — new teammates, new markets, new projects, and new opportunities. While new and exciting is almost universally positive, an exception can be made for our recent discovery of a yellowjacket nest outside our Pittsburgh office. It was definitely new, and you can bet that the 20 or so bees that ventured into the office each day were an exciting challenge.

Inspired by my colleague’s recent blog post, and recognizing the risks of tackling the problem on my own, I tracked down a professional, specifically Jim Abraham (The Bee Hunter).

A couple of days later, Jim arrived in a decked-out truck with “The Bee Hunter” emblazoned on the side, wearing matching camo pants. After a quick assessment, we started talking about the infestation. I started with, “How do you think they get into the building?”

Jim said, “Everyone asks that. There are two answers: I don’t know and it doesn’t matter.”

I immediately flashed back to a half-dozen or so conversations I’ve had with clients where the same question came up. How did we get here? Who is responsible? What did we do that enabled this? Why did we end up making those decisions?

In most cases, I’d echo Jim – I don’t know and it doesn’t matter.

When one realizes that they’re on the wrong track, usually from some very helpful performance feedback, there are usually two choices. On one hand, they can invest a lot of energy in being defensive and coming up with reasons (or worse – excuses) for going off the rails. On the other, they can take a deep breath, realize that the priority is to resolve the issue, and use their available resources to solve the problem.

Bottom line – don’t let the sting of disappointing results prevent you from focusing on moving forward and getting better.