Everyone carries her/his history within. In some cases, everyone within their voice knows the details. At this bank we did this. While I was with this organization, we concluded this was the answer. In other companies, especially company A, we concluded that this solution was the one that was going to work. On this extreme, everyone knows what the answer will be to any question. So and so did it this way.
At the other end of the spectrum, you have no idea where the individual has been. They may have views. They do not explain what experiences informed them. They can offer solutions. It is unclear if the proposals have ever been tried. They may remain silent, leaving those around them to question their ability to contribute to moving the organization forward.
As I listened to yet another, “at company Z we did this”, I found myself joining an every louder chorus. “We are not at company Z! We are where we are.” In the midst of my criticism, I wondered how much I am bound by the past.
I would not like to suggest that everything in the past needs to be abandoned. The learning and growth experiences are important. I do wonder; have portions of the past become a burden that we think we must carry with us?
The awareness of the burdens that I carry was put in perspective in the current review process. Almost two decades ago I made a series of bad decisions. I exploited an individual that I came to call a friend. While I gave him an opportunity that nobody else would, I also put him under tremendous pressure to succeed and succeed some more. My pressure contributed to his death. The burden of those decisions has stayed with me since that time.
I believe I have learned my lesson. If I can encourage others to let go, perhaps I should head my own advice. “Friends, once that’s taken care of and we’re no longer accusing or condemning ourselves, we’re bold and free before God!” (1 John 3.21)