Not content with its contributions to the global banking crisis, the powers that be in Iceland decided to wreck havoc on Europe’s travelers last week by flooding the air with volcanic ash.  I had the good fortune to be in Lithuania at the time and got to add a few countries to my itinerary, meeting all sorts of interesting people along the way, instead of flying directly home.  (I traveled through Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Austria, Germany, France and Spain).

It was a weekend of choices: wait or go; train, bus, car; intermediate destinations; routes.  I was particularly interested in the way peoples’ choices over the weekend fit with their more general approaches to life.  For some, the weekend was just a continuation of their ongoing journey.  For others it was a mildly frustrating distraction.  And for the most fortunate, it was an opportunity to learn about new places, others or themselves.  The difference  was related much more to peoples' attitudes than to their specific circumstances.

The same is true for onboarding into a new role.  No matter what onboarding best practices you deploy, you will have to deal with falling trees, volcanos or the like from time to time.  Think through how you adjust to those unexpected distractions.  In particularly, think through the attitude you choose.  It will have a meaningful impact on how you deal with the unexpected, how you feel, and how others feel about you.

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