Special Announcement — Catapult Your Career!

As a WorkMatters subscriber, I wanted you to be among the first to know about my upcoming free teleseminar – Catapult Your Career!

It’s designed for people who are rethinking their career – for whatever reason. They want to clarify new direction and explore new growth opportunities.

Much of my work is devoted to helping leaders be most successful in their roles. But I’m just as passionate about helping people do or pursue the work they really want to do. (It’s how I started my business many years ago.) 

Many people are looking for ideas and support to help them find more reward or satisfaction in their work. They want to move in new directions, but they feel stuck or disillusioned.

If you or someone you know is contemplating a career change, or you simply want to take charge of your career, join me on Monday, April 4 at 8pm ET

I’ll help you move forward faster!

Learn more and register here: 

Catapult Your Career! 

Space is limited, so register soon!

 

 

 

 

Playing in Mud?

 
Last weekend my son played in a soccer tournament — in the mud.Mud

In the rain and cold, we watched him work his way down
the field, somersaulting in puddles and slipping on what 
was left of the field.

To make matters worse, his team lost all their games.
 
Conditions are never just right to play your game,
whatever that might be — growing your business, managing your team, competing in new markets. 
In fact, you may have many factors working against
 you — poor cash flow, insufficient resources, changing market conditions.
 
Sometimes that's more reason to keep playing — to see what you can do,
with what you have right now. You know it's not everything you want or
will have in the future, but you play all out anyway.
 
Here are a few points to keep in mind when you're playing in mud:
 
* The situation is temporary. Conditions will change and you will be able to play to your advantage over time.
* You still have people — team members, stakeholders, customers/clients — on the sidelines who believe in you/your business and who cheer you on.
* You're developing new skills and perspective that will help you in the long run.  You'll emerge stronger. (At least, that's what my mother always told me.)
* You'll work together better as a team if you pay attention to what you're learning, especially in adversity.
If you're like my son, you might think the mess makes the game more fun. Like anything else in life, the key is how you view the situation.
 
Leaders who are waiting for just the right time or conditions will
hold themselves and their teams back.
 
Sometimes you can't wait for the clouds to clear, for the politics
to simmer down, for the perfect new hire. You know you have to act
or you may lose an opportunity. You have to make a risky decision. Go!
 
Mud is part of managing. 
 
Every manager I've coached has to do something they dread. Or they've
had to prepare themselves for dealing with a person or situation that
makes them very uncomfortable.
 
While some love leading, there are still aspects of their role they
would happily give up.
 
Whether you're running a team or your business, you'll get dirty.
Accept that muddy conditions are a normal part of business. 
 
Mud comes in different forms.  
 
For example, you may have to learn things you don't have an interest
in or work with people you don't care to.  Do what you can to minimize
the mud and focus on what gives you strength and energy.
 
The most challenging experiences in my own work have made me more
emphatic about doing work for which I am the best fit and working
with people I really enjoy.
 
Don't worry about losing a game. Trust that you'll play your best
under any conditions. 
 
You're preparing for a bigger game in the future.
 
How will you and your team move forward when you're in the mud?
 
What's the bigger game you really want to play?
 
On the Lighter Side
 
Everybody ought to do at least two things each day that he hates to do, just for practice.
~William James

Want to Use Gayle's Article in Your Newsletter or Website? 

You may, as long as you include the following statement:
"Reprinted from 'WorkMatters,' a free ezine produced by Gayle Lantz featuring tips for leaders and executives who want to grow their business, their teams, and themselves. Subscribe at:   WorkMatters.com/signup." 

About Gayle Lantz  

Gayle Lantz is a leadership expert and president of  WorkMatters, Inc., a consulting firm dedicated to helping leaders think and work smarter.

She is author of the award winning book, Take the Bull by the Horns: The Busy Leader's Action Guide to Growing Your Business…and Yourself.  

A sought-after consultant, coach, facilitator, and speaker, Gayle works closely with executives and leadership teams to expand their vision, think and act strategically, and inspire change. Together, they increase business results and help make work matter at every level of the organization.   Find out more at: https://workmatters.com 

 
  

What’s Keeping You From Reaching Your Goals?

Why you might be losing traction toward your goals and what to do about it.

distraction 

The New Year has just begun, yet already you're probably feeling the weight of responsibilities, commitments and meetings slowing you down. You had good energy at the start of the year. You were committed to making some changes. You thought you'd move forward a little differently, but you're losing traction. 

What's the problem? DISTRACTION.

If you're a leader you must work hard to stay focused on your goals. After all, your focus influences the rest of your team and the organization. Here are some of the reasons you might find yourself off track: 

1.     You're not really clear about the main goals.  Sure, you've set some financial goals, business goals, or personal goals, but they're not concrete. They include phrases like "do better" or "improve" or "get more."

2.     The goals don't seem realistic. The company wants to aim high, but the goals appear random without acceptable rationale.  Why try so hard when you expect to fall short?

3.     The goals aren't compelling enough.  You went through some kind of cursory exercise and made slight adjustments to previous goals. But you're not reaching for more that makes you or your business stretch and grow. 

4.     Your systems are inadequate. You did not set up the systems or support needed to help you make early progress. Instead you're trying to do too much yourself.

5.     You're afraid. Something is holding you back.  Achieving something big has its risks. You might make mistakes. You've become too focused on possible failure instead of probable success. Fear is one of the most crippling distractions. 

Take action to minimize distraction.

When you're in the driver's seat, you have more control over the process. Decide what action you will take to reach your destination. If you're driving a car to get to your destination, at times you'll need fuel, directions, a tune up, or even a break from driving.

You'll also have to resist the many different forms of technology that distract you from the road. You don't have to respond immediately to every call, sound or tweet.

In the same way, determine what you need at different stages in your work or life on your road to your goal. Commit to small progress each day. 

It's harder to interfere with something that's already in motion. Keep moving! 

Here are a few tips to help you get back and stay on track.

1.     Paint a new picture. Refresh your goals. Don't regurgitate last year's.  Add something new that energizes you and your team. Perhaps you want to serve clients in a new way. Or you want to open new markets. Be descriptive about what you want to see or feel when your goals are accomplished.

2.     Speak of your goals in the present tense. For example, instead of saying,  "We want to double our growth, " say, "We are doubling our growth…" Stating your goal as though it's happening now shifts your mindset.  And mindset is the ultimate key to achieving your goals 

3.     Protect your mindset. Be ready when you hear others say, "That won't work." Or "Are you crazy?" They are reflecting their own doubts or short-sightedness. Surround yourself with people who share your view and who are equally committed to the goal, or to helping you reach your goal.

4.     Regroup quickly. Note the signs when you're veering off the path. For example: You're dwelling on details that don't matter. You're obsessing about problems you can't control. You're wasting your time in unproductive meetings.  You're not following any particular strategy. Gather your team immediately and commit to prioritizing or re-prioritizing your goals and plan. 

5.     Fade your fear. Remember past success. Note the reasons you've achieved the success you have so far. Believe you will overcome any future obstacles. Fear will diminish when you visualize yourself reaching even higher levels of success and reward. Focus instead on why you will be even more successful. 

Distractions are inevitable, but you can deflect them more quickly and easily when you're clear about where you're going and excited about the destination.

Are distractions derailing you?

What will you do to take new action and gain traction? 

Want to Use Gayle's Article in Your Newsletter or Website?
 
You may, as long as you include the following statement: 

"Reprinted from 'WorkMatters,' a free ezine produced by Gayle Lantz featuring tips for leaders and executives who want to grow their business, their teams, and themselves. Subscribe at: 
 WorkMatters.com/signup."

Know someone who might benefit from this article? Feel free to forward.
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Stop the Spinning!

As a child, I loved springboard diving. Part of learning more difficult dives was knowing when to stop spinning in the air and reach for the water. I got better with every belly flop.

When you’re spinning fast backwards up in the air, it’s hard to tell the difference between the sky and the water. It all looks blue.

As part of my diving practice, I had to depend on my coach to yell, “OUT!” at just the right moment. That meant it was time for me to stop spinning instantly, straighten out and reach for the water — hoping I would find it.

Perhaps you need that instruction now. In business, it’s easy to get stuck in spinning mode.

Maybe you’re busy, but you’re not being productive. Or you’re over analyzing instead of making the decision. Or you’re stuck in patterns that don’t get results.

If so, now is the time to stop that motion and take different action.

Are you spinning in your sleep?

Executives, leaders, business owners and entrepreneurs process ideas in their sleep. Their minds are constantly spinning.

Spinning can be a good thing if it gives you momentum to move forward, but some people get dizzy…feel overwhelmed with their to-do list or they juggling too many competing priorities.

With increasing pressure to find solutions more quickly and compete most effectively, it’s tempting to try to take in more information or ideas than you can act on.

You might be trying to learn new information at a pace that’s too difficult to apply.

When your world starts to blur for whatever reason, note these tips from diving:

  • Visualize the process. Go through the motions step-by-step in your mind first. See yourself succeeding.
  • Get a good bounce. Find the right springboard for you. Perhaps a new business idea or project…or simply a new direction.
  • Don’t hold your breath. Breathe. Stay focused.
  • Find a coach if you need one.

Don’t worry about the splash. Stop spinning and reach for your goals!

On the Lighter Side

As long as the world is turning and spinning, we’re gonna be dizzy and we’re gonna make mistakes. ~ Mel Brooks

How do you stop spinning? Let me know below.