Hello SOTGC community,
I’m always inspired by John C. Maxwell’s writing. If you don’t know who John Maxwell is—he’s a leadership expert, speaker, a best-selling author, and founder of EQUIP and the John Maxwell Company, which has trained more than five million leaders worldwide. One of my favorite John Maxwell quotes is this:
“When you made the choice to start, you made the choice to finish.”
Everyday we make choices to either stretch or coast toward our career goals. Not long ago, I found myself starting to coast. I was working in Corporate America as an international Human Resources business partner, traveling the world, doing what I loved–enabling others to reach their potential. I was having such a great year because I was in my sweet spot and developed a large capacity to deliver results. I was told at my annual performance review that I had outperformed an entire team of eleven employees who focused on global talent initiatives. Within one month that global team was disassembled and I inherited their workload and one employee. There was no money to hire additional staff. My employee and I just had to make it work.
Nine months later my employee resigned, looking for work-life balance. I didn’t blame her for leaving; in fact, I wanted to follow her out the door. For the next two months I had a grand pity party for myself. As much as I hate to admit it, I felt like a victim—wondering why my reward for high performance was a huge workload! I started to show up as someone who was coasting in her career. The truth was I was overwhelmed, under pressure to deliver, and exhausted just thinking about it all. The turning point came when no one joined my pity party, and I was expected to perform. I was at a crossroads to either embrace this opportunity and accelerate my career, or coast. I realized I was leading from fear instead of strength. If I made this opportunity work, it would be a great career stretch for me.
John Maxwell shares these suggestions for stretching versus coasting through your career. I realized I had utilized these principles to get out of my slump:
Engage in brick-by-brick thinking: It’s easy to coast when we’re feeling overwhelmed or out of balance. Brick-by-brick thinking is focusing on daily disciplines and routines that will propel you forward. I decided to focus on my physical health. I knew if I started to integrate exercising into my week I would feel strong enough to tackle the demands of work and life.
Surround yourself with support: I was trying to do everything myself. I started to tap into my network and ask for help. I also delegated work to those who enjoyed the task and found it easy to do. I was amazed at how much others wanted to help. I also found my moments and opportunities to give back to my network—even if it was a simple thank you or a gift to show my appreciation.
Quitting isn’t an option: It takes effort and discipline to reach your goals. I started to look for meaningful reasons not to quit. I focused on what I was learning about myself.
I focused on the important tasks in my day-to-day work and life.
Because I prioritized and focused on the important, I delivered more effective results.
I made the choice to finish strong. Once I made that choice, I embraced my situation and felt empowered to reach the finishing line. Feeling overwhelmed and exhausted started to subside.
Sometimes the only thing separating us from success is choice.
What can you learn from your current circumstances? Where in your life can you choose to finish strong? Tweet me and share your story: https://twitter.com/findyouraim.
Here’s to your success!