Do you see opportunities and admire the potential from the safety of your comfort zone (earth)? Or, do you see an opportunity (space) and get an irresistible urge to leap? As we begin in 2021, ask yourself a powerful question. Am I an astronaut or an astronomer?
2021 is upon us. Independent of the calendar, it is just another day. But as is our ritual, we see the beginning of a new year. Each day is the beginning of the next twelve months of our lives. But alas, I will follow our custom of celebration and reflection. It is your opportunity to hold on to the past or become energized about the future.
As we approach 2021 and New Year's resolutions, let's examine what we need to be relentless about in the coming year. Being different in 2021 requires change. What are you willing to change to be different? How can you improve without changing? Doing the same things over and over is the definition of insanity.
We are experiencing fatigue. Fatigue is physical or mental weariness resulting from effort or activity. You are tired of covid19, isolation from others, and the fear of catching a virus in the middle of a global pandemic. Adapting to changes in routine proves to be problematic over time. It's called "pandemic fatigue," and it could be affecting you.
I had a thing for dirt bikes when I was younger. You learn to look for ruts in the trail. A well-placed road rut can separate you from the seat of a motorcycle. And once you are in a road rut, exiting can be treacherous. Someone reading this is now stuck in a business rut, and you are afraid to get out of it. Your business is on the merry-go-round of mediocrity, and you can't seem to turn the page or start a new chapter. It is the same tired people, doing the same average things and accomplishing the same average results. It is no longer fun, and you are mailing it in as a leader. You have no excitement, enthusiasm, or energy. You are stuck!
When it comes to organizational energy, someone is always in the proverbial driver's seat. Whether it's functional or departmental, someone has control of the accelerator. A human is required to generate movement for different parts of a business. Yet, it has become common to see people in one function pressing the accelerator for people with other functional duties. Why is this occurring? More importantly, why is this tolerated?
What is the difference between leading someone and controlling people? Does it matter? Have you given up on leadership when you resort to control? I can’t influence people, so I choose instead to manage them. I am going to dissect these concepts to provide you with clarity in the end.
If you are in a supervisory role or not, this has value for you. The term supervisor extends from a front-line supervisor to a seasoned CEO or business owner. I wrote this letter ten years ago to get the attention of supervisors and managers in the workplace. It is easy to blame workers when things are not functioning optimally on the job. How often do we, as leaders, look to ourselves first and take total ownership of a leader's role? We will dissect the letter on the other side.
In the spirit of the Halloween season. I want to discuss the monsters in your head. Self-doubt, guilt, shame, insecurity, and the imposter syndrome are real-life monsters that make dramatic appearances in your brain. How do we get rid of the monsters living in our minds?
Leading peers is difficult. Some say it is the most challenging aspect of leadership. You have no power over them, and they can choose to follow you or not. How do you get peers to move in a direction you desire? Whether it's a business partner, church member, or volunteer group, your leadership is necessary to improve or make a difference in the organization. The easy button is to make your opinion known and remain passive. This approach is safe. However, it is more difficult to exert your influence to make a positive change.
Do you still believe you can close deals as you did in 2019? Are you waiting for things to get back to normal? Do you listen to excuses about Covid-19 from your sales team? The world of professional sales has changed and will never be the same. I am helping companies adapt to the next generation of buyers. I gave a video speech today with an audience in Spokane, Washington. A business leader told me the governor is mandating work-from-home until March 2021. Imagine a sales team in that region of the country that is incapable of closing deals remotely. What are they going to do?
The time has come to talk about something more significant than any of us as individuals. Exactly thirty years ago, I swore an oath (as required by federal law) to enlist in the United States Army. It was 1990, and I had just moved home from College Station, Texas. I decided to place my academic plans on hold to serve my country as a path toward earning funds to finish my undergraduate education. Listen to the words I swore that day.