How to Create a New Path to Business Growth

How to Create a New Path to Business Growth

Ever feel like you’re going in circles? Sometimes the harder you try to achieve something important, the more stuck you get.

Last week I was heading to a meeting at a location that I had been to before, but just to be safe, I used GPS to make sure I could get there using the fastest route.

I followed the GPS instructions carefully–making the turns and traveling on mispronounced roads as directed. My instincts told me I was going in the wrong direction, but I trusted the system.

After being led down an unfamiliar path for too long, I realized I had entered the wrong destination in the app. My fault.

In my conversations with clients and colleagues lately, they’ve expressed frustration about doing a lot, but not making progress. These CEOs, executives and business owners are stuck in activities that keep them going in circles without achieving the results they really want.

Driven leaders are doing something about it. They’re not content to keep going in the same circle.

I enjoy working with them to help them and their organizations disrupt bad patterns, transform cultures and move in new directions.

Here are some ideas about how to begin creating the growth and expansion you really want for yourself and those you lead:

  • Check your destination.Where are you really trying to go? Why? What does it look like? Does everyone see the same picture? Get the clarity you need on the front end.
  • Listen to your instincts. Some leaders doubt their own capabilities. They fear something is missing. Or they think they need someone else to guide them. Of course some decisions require input and buy-in from others, but many can be made on your own. Trust yourself.
  • Course correct. Don’t beat yourself up if something goes wrong or you get off path, even if you’re confused or lost. Adjust. Keep moving.

Growth is a journey with many possible paths…that you get to create!

The pace and path of your growth can change over time.

In business, we’re accustomed to seeing linear views of growth in images like financial charts, bar graphs or the S-Curve.

Another way of looking at growth is the image of a spiral.
Picture yourself in the center. As you grow, the spiral expands.
Think about spiraling out, not down.

As you expand to the outer layers, your perspective changes.
You move yourself to a new level of growth and potential.

Your organization moves in a similar way. It’s either moving in a tight circle by sticking to what it’s done or it’s creating a new growth path through elevated thinking and strategic action.

Each experience (good or bad) teaches you something that connects you to the next layer, but only if you reflect on learning, revisit your vision and open yourself to new possibilities.

As a leader, look for ways to break out of the circle. Challenge your team to do the same.

Take the time you need to create and follow the path you want.

There is as much value, if not more, in slowing down to reflect as there is in driving full speed ahead.

Get your bearings. Learn. Grow. Continue.

PS: If you’d like to learn more about the success we’ve had helping organizations change and grow, please let me know.

If we have not met, I’d be happy to introduce you to WorkMatters’ services.

The Real Secret to Reducing Leadership Stress and Growing Your Business

The Real Secret to Reducing Leadership Stress and Growing Your Business

Last weekend, while driving in Atlanta, I was almost hit by a driver going the wrong way on 10th Street in the downtown area. When his truck headed directly at me in my lane, my heart stopped.

Luckily he stopped at the traffic light at our intersection, so I could maneuver around him.
I later witnessed another vehicle making a slow dangerous illegal U-turn on Piedmont Road, another busy road in Atlanta. The driver drove on part of the sidewalk to complete the turn.

Crazy! But to those who live in Atlanta, that’s not uncommon. It’s traffic in Atlanta.
In that moment, I realized I could…

  • Stew about it or let it go.
  • Let that be a reason not to go to Atlanta or accept that it’s just part of the experience.
What helped the most was shifting my focus entirely to the BEST parts of my trip:
  • Working with clients I enjoy in the Atlanta area
  • Seeing my daughter who lives and works there
  • Catching up with friends there (including a college roommate visiting from New York City that I hadn’t seen in years)
  • Attending a National Speakers Association meeting as a long-time member
I appreciated the chance to spend a weekend doing work I like with people I enjoy, developing myself professionally and having fun with family and friends.

Given the many challenges and setbacks I’ve experienced over the years, I’ve learned one of the best ways to overcome negativity, frustration or stress is to focus on what you enjoy and appreciate instead.

What you focus on expands.

In leadership and management roles, stress is part of the job. At the end of the day, you may carry that heavy weight home.

But if you can shift your attention to the aspects of your work that you find most fulfilling or enjoyable, you will begin to change how you think about your work.

Noting what you appreciate or find valuable is an ideal way to begin creating transformation — personal, team or organizational.

This appreciative approach works. It represents the imperative foundational work I do with my clients to help them achieve best results.

So with “love” in the air this Valentine’s week, pay attention to the lens through which you view your life and work.

Keep a sharper focus on what you love and appreciate.

Your load will lighten as you grow yourself and your business.

PS: As you work on your goals this year, keep WorkMatters in mind as a resource. If we have not met, I’d be happy to introduce you to WorkMatters services. Contact me directly.

Are You Ready for Change?

Are You Ready for Change?

One of my favorite questions to ask clients is, “What’s keeping you from making the change you really want to make?”

I get all kinds of answers:

The timing isn’t right.
I’m too busy.
Company politics.
I’m not sure if it will work.
I don’t have enough support.
Not sure what people will think.

The reasons could go on and on. Almost any time you’re thinking about making a significant change, it stirs up resistance.

It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to create some kind of change in your organization, your team or yourself. Resistance will appear.

You can override the resistance by acknowledging it and looking for other reasons that are more powerful to help you move forward. Think about what you’ll be gaining and why that is important to you.

Perhaps you’ll gain:

  • Better peace of mind
  • New growth opportunity
  • More reward or satisfaction

Keep your focus there. Build your beliefs about your ability to make change happen.

Strengthening your mindset is more important than trying to force yourself into action.

Strike the best balance between action and reflection. Taking massive action can backfire if you’re not thinking clearly.

Sometimes you’re pushing too hard and you just need to settle down.

It’s like putting your car in neutral to go through the car wash.

It doesn’t work as well to hit the accelerator to speed through it on your own.

All it takes is a gear shift.

Trust that the process is working.

Creating Change the Best Way

Creating Change the Best Way

I have a few clients who admit they don’t like change. (Gasp!) To them, change represents “disruption.” Yet, they want to grow their business or their career. They want to achieve even better results.

Any time you commit to something bigger or better, it will require change of some kind. If you have trouble dealing with change, try viewing change differently.

Here are some thoughts about change to help you gain perspective:

  • Change isn’t the goal. It’s a means. Accept it as necessary part of the process to help you get what you really want.
  • Change can be disruptive, but it doesn’t have to be. Break your process into small steps to avoid overwhelm. Take action one step at a time.
  • Change is happening – like it or not. To stay current and competitive, you have to be aware of what is changing around you so you can adapt.
  • Change is already part of your experience. Look where you were five years ago. You’ve been through much change since then. You can continue to make changes when and where you need to.

This is a time of year when it’s natural to be thinking about change.

What do you want to be different next year? For you? Your business? Your career?

Change is a non-negotiable. Just focus on the goal, the reward or benefit. You’ll figure out the steps that are necessary to help you.

If you’ve read this far, there’s likely something big you want to achieve. You must do something differently. Stop resisting.

Your reason for wanting change is bigger than any perceived difficulty you think the change might create.

Change is good. Change leads to growth.

Don’t dread change. Look forward to better results.

How will you get where you really want to go by doing or being the same?