So I’m in the middle of something right now. In the middle of taking a project I let… drift (yes, that’s called spinning the situation. The real situation is that I let my lack of knowledge of web development turn into a situation where I was told things that weren’t true and believed them. Things I was told were happening were in fact not happening, and I didn’t push for proof despite my fears that they really weren’t happening).

Anyway, things drifted and right now I’m about to put things right and re-launch this project.

I will admit to being afraid about this before this week. I was concerned that my mistakes would translate into key people thinking I was unable to do this job and manage this project well. The truth is, I can do this job really well, I just got my butt handed to me in an all new way.

But I seem to have backup — my boss seems to see this as a one-off mistake and is going to help me make things right. The question I might have is, “How do I move forward?”

I have a sister-in-law who is 15 and is having some trouble in school. She’s smart and pretty motivated (probably more so than I was at the time), and she wants better grades to get into a good school. Ask her how she gets good grades and you get the answer you expect: “study harder.” But I don’t know what that means. Read slower? Read more? For the most part, I don’t think school does a good job teaching you how to learn, so we end up figuring it out for ourselves. So this kid might have to struggle a little while longer until she figures out what “study harder” means.

So how do I get this project back on its feet? “Work harder?” Am I back to that? Muddling through until something starts to make sense?

No. I’m going to figure out how it is I am going to learn to fix these things. I’m going to start but putting the right people in a room and asking a simple question — “Where are we going?” I don’t what to worry about what happened (outside of making sure the same mistakes don’t get made), but I want to know how to we get to where we want to go. The group will help me find the path to what’s next.

That’s the plan.

Otherwise, I’m not scared about this anymore. From this point, I can turn a bad beat of a project into something that works and does what its supposed to do.