A lot of time has been spent in the past week talking with business owners, leaders, and friends about how to best navigate the daily changes and growing uncertainty with the coronavirus pandemic. It is clearly impacting how we connect, communicate, conduct business, and keep our families, teams and communities safe. Even as people and businesses are making sacrifices, there is genuine concern for others, and large spread help and support offered. We are rising to the occasion on many levels. At the same time, it can take a toll on even the most hearty, positive, optimistic among us. I wanted to share tips that myself and others have found useful in hopes there’s a nugget or two you can add to what you’re already doing to stay resilient and strong.
Things that might be helpful right now:
Show and acknowledge gratitude. There is positive all around us if we choose to see it. At least once daily, preferably morning and night, stop down and identify what’s going...
I am a big fan of recapping time to see patterns; remembering how much happened, and to reflect on the phases we go through and evolve from. We’re often reminded of amazing things that happened and that so much more was accomplished, happened, overcome, lost or created than we originally thought.
What can happen in a decade? For me, my professional roles have been varied - business owner, consultant, in non-profit, small company, big corporation, start-up. Goals have been exceeded and some goals missed. Throughout, I’ve been leading, coaching, growing, and discovering.
We have all done more than we think we have in the last year and decade. The benefit of reflecting is slowing down to see how far we’ve come, what we want to keep doing and what needs to stop to get to where we want to go.
As I think back on the decade, there are some lessons that emerge:
Stop pushing, let it go – the right answer will be revealed
Time is finite, use it wisely
"Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now."
– Alan Lakein
I am an unabashed strategy geek who loves budgeting and planning season.
Carving out the time to refine or recall the bigger vision, identifying key objectives to get there, and working with teams and team members on how they'll contribute to those goals is a wise investment. It's precious time that helps to lift heads up from the day-to-day, challenge what's possible, examine what's needed, and identify the steps needed to accomplish those goals.
Companies and people often want the results that strategic planning provides but are reluctant to commit to the process, because it's not the "sexy" side of business. It can easily get overlooked or not fully completed.
Planning doesn't need to be reinvented or overly complicated. In its purest form, planning takes what seems big, even impossible, and breaks it down to specific, measurable action steps.
I'm here to tell you it's not true. What you do, the job title you have whether it's CEO, VP, entrepreneur, stay-at-home spouse, educator, or freelancer has absolutely nothing to do with who you are as a human being. And who you are as a human is not only what matters, it's what makes your good at the titles you hold, and it's what attracts people to you, it's how you show up in the world.
How can we change the conversation?
We all question our identity at some point in our lives. It is usually triggered by a significant life moment — selling a business, losing a job, going through a breakup or divorce, losing a parent, or becoming a parent. I see people struggle most when asked who they are (or even genuinely sharing how they are doing) rather than what they do. This response is a...
Maybe it's because graduation just came and went, or because people try to remember being a kid in the throes of summer. It feels like there's been an over-abundance of statements made around how it's the job of a young adult to discover and define themselves.
Several times a week, this phrase has popped up in conversation, news stories, podcasts. I'm throwing down the BS flag!
While it's true that fostering and exploring interests is needed in youth, it's also true that figuring out who you want to be and what you want to do with your life is rarely figured out during this time. The human brain isn't fully developed until the age of 25 in young men, 23 for young women. The pressure that society puts on us to have it all figured out is both unnecessary and limiting. It's a significant contributor to the stress and anxiety so much of the population is experiencing, so it's no wonder the anxiety rate of teens has also escalated.
Add to this the "passion" pressure. Some really do...
A friend recently heard me say I needed to do more of something, and she busted me. She pointed out that "need to" is a sign of someone else's agenda.
Since then, I've been listening more closely to the way executive leaders describe what's urgent or getting in their way. There are a lot of “shoulds”, “need tos” and “have tos” in their vocabulary, too. Sometimes they're directed at others, but in large part, they are referring to what they need to accomplish.
These are phrases filled with resistance (resistance meaning a refusal to comply with or accept.) We all resist. Our brains are hardwired to keep old habits and to seek instant gratification instead of delayed gratification. Beyond the shoulds and have-tos, there's a desire to do something different, to have control over our time. The have-tos are a clue to things you'd rather not be doing.
If this seems...