Today’s MMWU is for all the leaders that keep wondering what opportunities exist over the horizon but never move toward it. It’s for all the leaders that choose to tread water and are realizing that their arms are getting tired. It’s for all the companies that are waiting for their leader to snap out of it and lead the way.
Being and feeling stuck sucks. You want to move forward, but you’re unsure where forward is. Moving backward isn’t a great option either. The only thing remotely appealing about moving backward is that you know what’s there and what to expect. But moving backward means retreating and giving up – and that’s not who you are. So you remain stuck in the middle of a crossroad, and the longer you remain stuck, the more frustrated, bored and confused you become.
Yes, being stuck sucks…but being stuck is a choice. Rather than moving forward (no matter where forward leads) you actively choose to be stuck over some very viable options open to you. Fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of change and “what if-ing” things to death are the imaginary walls that keep people feeling stuck. The key to getting unstuck is recognizing that those walls aren’t real and can be vaporized by you at any time. Simply put, the first step to getting unstuck is choosing to be unstuck.
Here are some no-compromise leadership thoughts to get and keep you unstuck:
- It’s OK to take a break: Superhero leaders eventually burn out simply because running all out all of the time is unsustainable. Leading and growing a company is no different than exercising. When you push your body and muscles to new limits, they need rest and time to recuperate before you push them again. But if too much time passes, it’s like starting all over again. Challenge yourself and your company to gain ground and reach that next level, but do it at a pace you can sustain and allow time to settle into new behaviors before pushing forward again. The key is preventing rest stops from becoming complacent comfort zones.
- Fallacy of being ready: It’s easy to get stuck while waiting for all the planets in the universe to perfectly align, but the truth is that you may never have the resources and finances you think you need in order to move forward. Most often, you need to move forward with what you have and pick up what you need along the way. I’m not suggesting throwing caution to the wind. What I am suggesting is that you must recognize when it’s time to move forward. Waiting for additional resources will do little to improve your margin for success. In business, you seize opportunities when you can. Hesitate and you lose.
- Pick one that fits: One interesting fact about being stuck is that you’re stuck because you won’t pick one of the options and/or opportunities that are already before you. When you chose to be unstuck, your field of vision expands. You are not only open to new opportunities; you’re seeking them out. Your best strategy here is to pick one, study it’s potential, expand on it…and make it happen. Remember, it’s that first 20 percent of the work you put into an opportunity that lays the foundation to allow the remaining 80 percent to happen.
- No plan is perfect: Just like GPS guides us to a destination, it can’t predict traffic, accidents or road closures – but it can and does quickly reprogram an alternate route. The best and most detailed plans are never perfect. The unexpected will always happen. A plan defines the vision and/or outcome. It gets you out of the starting gate, and once you’re out, your plan will be tweaked and modified so it can adapt to what reality throws at it. Too often, leaders get so stuck in creating the perfect plan that it never gets executed. Don’t obsess over creating the perfect plan. There is no such thing.
- Success requires risk: Business is about taking risks. You cannot become a market leader doing the same things as your competition. All you’re doing is trading customers and dollars. There’s something inspiring about innovating new approaches to business and doing things your competitors cannot or will not do. I’m not talking about taking crazy risks; I’m talking about taking well-conceived risks that challenge you, your team and your company to get better. If you’re not willing to take risks – you’re stuck. Get over it.
- Coaching Accountability: Congratulations on your decision to get unstuck. So what’s your plan? Where will you start? What skills and guidance will you require? What are deadlines and milestones? And the BIGGIE … how will you hold yourself accountable to completing your unsticking projects? This is where a business and leadership coach, in addition to providing expertise, can really help you stay focused, on track and accountable. Give a Strategies Coach a test run and see how it works.