“What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” – Jane Goodall
I love this quote!
It puts into perspective how we as leaders influence our businesses and organizations every day with every interaction and every decision. This quote also reinforces the guiding principle behind one of my all-time favorite books, The Magic of Thinking Big by Dr. David J. Schwartz, which is “You are what you think you are.”
Take a moment and think about that for yourself – you are what you think you are.
What have your thoughts been?
That perspective shapes our filter on what we see, what we say, and what we do. We all have times when we can get into our heads and not even realize that we have started down a path of self-doubt.
And could thoughts have influenced your decisions?
To get started, let's check in with what you have to work with.
Do you have an idea of what you want to achieve or your vision set?
How about the bigger goals in between the details and the vision to create a bridge?
And have you identified all the steps - or as many as you can - that are necessary to bring this idea to reality?
Excellent! You’re ready to go reach your goals and turn a vision into a reality, but there’s one small thing… you feel overwhelmed where to begin.
The goals you’ve set are big.
The steps you’ve figured out are good, but they also feel big. It’s almost like the steps you wrote down are smaller goals versus actionable steps. So, you take more time and break the steps down even further. After you’ve done this one more time, you’re pleased that you were able to figure out a map of sorts, but that feeling of overwhelm starts to creep up and make you wonder how you’re gonna really achieve...
You’ve brainstormed and dreamed about new goals and new opportunities you want to achieve.
You’ve written them down and created a plan that you can’t wait to start.
Then slowly but surely, life starts to get in the way.
The actions you mapped out on your plan seem to be getting pushed out versus getting done. The momentum you had for making your goals happen has dwindled. Your schedule that was once one of your favorite tools has become a reminder that you are not doing everything you set out to do.
So what do you do?
It can be easy to beat ourselves up for what we haven’t gotten done or getting off track, but that won’t help. It will only add to the frustration, not make it better.
This idea was inspired by a recognition approach from one of the organizations I was in back in the corporate world. We awarded baby playdough - you know the little ones you find in a party pack - to individuals who suggested creative, out of the box ideas to move our overall big picture vision forward. It didn't matter if the idea was implemented as much as it was rewarding the creativity and courage for sharing something different. We wanted to achieve something different and we knew the "same old, same old" type of thinking wouldn't help.
It's like Einstein said, "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."
In addition to shaping and sharing new ideas and thinking out of the box, I saw the playdough with a couple of other reminders. One was to detach from the outcome and be willing to start over when needed. Sometimes we can get so attached to an idea or thing that we can't let it go in order to make room for something better. Maybe that...
I had a college professor who explained during a lecture that there wasn't just one way to get somewhere. He said there was "the" way like there were many paths you could take to reach your vision or end goal and there was "thuh" way - meaning that there was only one way that would work and all the others were subpar or would even fail to achieve the desired goal.
And as I reflected on that lecture, I realized that this could apply to many things. For instance, in math there are a few ways to get to 10. Such as 5+5, 2+8, and 1+9.
We would all love the direct route, but what typically happens is the curvy, zig-zag path.
You might have one way that you think it ought to be handled, but if you're working with a team and not fully leveraging what they are individually and collectively bringing to the table, then the vision will not be as full and impactful as it could be. By allowing your team the opportunity to...
It’s another day at the office, and it seems like everything that can go wrong has, and you are frustrated. Maybe it seems as though each time you complete an item on your action list, three new items are added. Or perhaps you can see delays in schedule or cost over runs and no sign of improvement. Or perhaps you are short-staffed and do not have a new employee starting anytime soon to help with the workload.
I know I’ve had each of these situations happen before, and I definitely felt frustrated and overwhelmed. It can be easy to let the things that aren’t going well to be all that we see. And when we focus on those frustrations, we tend to see even more of them.
Soon enough, it feels like a continual spiral of overwhelm and frustrations that can be challenging to stop. When that happens, how do you go about changing your perspective?
The answer is easy, but it takes effort and practice.
When you look for the positive, you will start to feel a shift. Not only...
When you think of point of view or POV as it relates to a book, it’s the perspective of the character and how the story is told. Are you coming from the main character’s vantage point or more of an observer and not knowing what’s happening with their inner thoughts?
Same can be said for leadership and driving your overall vision forward.
Just take a moment and think about where you are in your organization or business….. are you in the weeds? Are you really heavily in the details? Or are you at the 10,000 or 100,000 foot view?
It can help you determine what changes are needed.
Each vantage point gives you a different perspective, and each one helps you to change your point of view.
When you run into a challenge, do you typically view them as a problem or opportunities to do something different?
Sometimes shifting your point of view makes it easier or even quicker to find a...
Your clients and customers come to you for a reason.
They want a solution - whether it's to purchase the perfect gift for someone that you've created or a personal and deeper transformation that they want to experience so that they grow. They see your business as part of that solution, which means that the more you can grow in your business, the better you'll be able to serve your clients and the more rewarding it will be for both of you.
Here are some thoughts that resonated with me when I thought who I am for my clients:
It seems that we go through various cycles in our life of mastering something and then starting over as the student.
When we start a new job, even if it's with the same company or group of people, or transition from the corporate world and into our own business, there are new responsibilities, processes, and systems for us to learn.
Each time we try something new, we are breaking out of our comfort zones.
Sometimes it's not a matter of trying something new, but rather breaking a system that made sense at one time and now no longer serves us.
At that point, we have a choice – we can choose to view change as positive growth instead of negative or scary.
We can choose to stay where we are or to rise to the next level and allow ourselves to be the student once more. It’s easy to stay where we are because it’s comfortable and known.
So, what can you do to better prepare for the next level?
The first step is to...
Just as much as your clients have an idea or goal they want to achieve or a change they want to make and want your expertise to guide them, you more than likely have an idea of what you want for your clients.
Here are some thoughts that resonated with me when I thought about this for my business and those whom I serve:
I want my clients to know and own their value - be confident in themselves and what they have to offer.
I want for them to be successful business owners and excited to share what they have to offer and embrace their role as the business leader, not just the creative side they love.
My clients are those who are genuinely concerned and care about their people - whether they are team members, clients, family, and friends - and many of them care for animals, too. With that in mind, I want my clients to confidently set and honor boundaries, so that they are decisive and compassionate when they say yes and no.
I want my clients to embrace their discomfort with being...
Showing up as the confident business leader you're meant to be is a transformation that starts on the inside, and the first step is shifting your mindset. Enroll in the free Leverage Your Potential mini course and start recognizing the leader within you today as well as receive weekly tips and encouragement to keep you going.