You are where you are because you choose to be. If you don’t like it, then change something. Oooff, that concept was hard to hear the first time. But I knew it to be true. If I want something different, I have to change something because I cannot “make different” by staying the same.
There is a sense of urgency as we barrel into the end of the year, date-specific opportunities hovering in our consciousness and a felt sense of the year drawing to a close; then there is the perception of a gap in the pace coming where we can slow down, pause, and reflect. Make that a strategic pause to rest, refuel, and regroup. And then change something. For example:
- If you are having an issue with an employee, assume it is on you and your leadership. How can you change the way that you are leading that person?
- If you don’t like how many hours you work, how can you redefine your role or increase efficiency?
- If you don’t have time to think or to make things, what boundaries do you need to put in place?
- If you don’t have enough time to think above the cloud cover of daily operations and set new initiatives that level up the business, then accept the short-term consequences of driving down profitability and hire to increase your discretionary time.
Your goal, as a leader, is to increase value consistently. That does not happen by doing the same thing harder, faster, or better. It happens by finding new things that streamline a process, reduce friction, reconceptualize a product or service, or unleash the potential of a stuck employee.
The Great Resignation is now a period of Great Redefinition because nobody leaves a lousy leader to go to a worse one. If you are a leader that people are leaving, get honest with yourself and change something. If you are a leader that people follow, amplify your impact and mentor others in your mindsets and behaviors. An individual contributor with a leadership title is still an individual contributor.
It is tempting to abdicate responsibility for our state of being or our circumstances and assign it to something outside us. To convince ourselves, with barely a conscious thought, that we can wait until external circumstances change. Or to double down in areas where we are being successful and ignore the ones where we are not. But that is not empowered leadership, and you cannot effectively lead from that stance. We all get stuck at different times in our lives. We all go through hard stuff that saps our energy, challenges our self-confidence, and makes the vision seem unlikely. These are the indicators, not that you need to give up, but that you need to pause, recalibrate, and go after it again – because you are the architect of your life, and you are a wise and resourceful human. If not you, then who?