Its tough out there, especially at the moment.
The only thing certain about plans is that they won’t work out exactly as planned. So, as an independent manager or leader, what can you do to keep picking yourself up, and keep positive in the face of all challenges?
What tools will help you and how will you keep going?
As an executive coach, this is probably one of the biggest issues many of my clients face, and sometimes I’m the only one they can truly open up to.
They also often have the huge pressure to perform for their customers AND to be enthusiastic and committed at home: a tough task at the best of times (and one I can’t claim to be very good at myself!), but even worse when the pressure’s on and things around us seem to be constantly going wrong.
About 30 years ago, I was on the edge of a nervous breakdown myself, with a business struggling to survive when interest rates went up to 16.5% (and we had a massive commercial loan).
What eventually saw me through, though it took my wife leaving me temporarily to get me to see it, was to discover: it’s no good blaming circumstances and people around me, the only person I can control is me, and as I respond differently to the circumstances, then the results I get from those circumstances will change.
It won’t be quick, and it certainly won’t be easy, but it is an absolute certainty.
And this took me down a lifelong journey of discovery into: what’s effective, and what can we all do to be more ‘successful’ each and every day?
I talk about all this in a lot more detail in my latest podcast, but, in a nutshell, I have discovered 3 key principles that give me strength every day, enable me to keep going no matter how tough things get, and help me see ‘success’ sensibly and with perspective.
Then and only then, do things start to improve!
So, to cut a (very) long story short: here are my 3 principles to help you keep going when everything seems to be going wrong:
- Have a clear set of principles that you want to stick by (we suggest the principles of ‘Slow Selling’ as a starter!)
- Small steps: success in life is a series of small steps of effectiveness repeated over time (and failure is a series of small steps of ineffectiveness repeated over time). Every large things is made up out of many small things: focus on improving the small things continually: ‘Go the extra inch!’
- Remember just to keep going: ‘it doesn’t matter how fast you, just so long as you don’t stop’: some days are more productive and successful than others: tomorrow is a new opportunity to start again. Treat each day as a watertight compartment and just keep aiming to move forward. (And maybe have a coach or a supporter who can gee you up, enthuse you and hold you accountable…).
So, for example, if you’re facing an unexpected crisis due to the current pandemic: you could apply these steps as follows:
- Be clear on your principles: ‘any port in a storm’ may seem like a good idea at the moment, but not if the port is full of pirates…
- Small steps: you want to change huge things, but what small steps are needed to start, then what are the next small steps … (And what other small steps could you work on outside the main plan, to help you be more positive and effective)?
- Keep going: what one, two or three things can you move forward today, towards your recovery goal? How can you pick yourself up again tomorrow if it all comes to nothing today? What habits of personal fitness and ‘can do’ mindset can you work on today? How can you see value in every setback that will be of help to you in the future?
A tough call! But, being successful isn’t easy: if it was, then everyone would be doing it … On the other hand, if you start doing it today, you’ll start to put yourself head and shoulders above the majority of people (who aren’t doing it) and thereby be ‘successful’!
You’ll find more information in the podcast, or please contact us if you’d like a chat.
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Slow Selling is a UK based not for profit movement for change in selling.
Our systems deliver peace of mind and confidence to caring leaders and managers who have limited time and resources, want to do the right thing and grow their business … all without sacrificing principles or profit. To find out more, please click here or email [email protected]ling.org