Category Archives: Skill Assessment

Transition to Transformation: Tip for Navigating Change

 

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The world is moving at a very fast pace. What are you doing to keep in step?
Every day we hear of corporate mergers, downsizing and restructures. What actions are you taking to rewrite your script to ensure you do not wind up on the cutting room floor?

Did you choose to stay home devoting your energy to the betterment of your family and now face a looming empty nest? What will you do with the next chapter of your life?

It does not matter where you turn; work and life are moving at a dizzying pace. People, vocations and emerging technologies are in a constant state of evolution and reinvention. We face a daily backdrop of high alert and digital connection. No wonder Transition and Change Management have become the adopted vernacular to describe daily existence.

How can one cope with a state of uncertainty and a general sense of unrest?
I cannot overstate the importance of creating a strong contingency plan. Why wait till life is on a downward spiral to pick up the pieces and turn life around? Having a strong backup plan is not only practical but can give you the confidence required to leverage and improve your current circumstances.
Would you go on a road trip without a destination, map, gas, and provisions? Would you go back to school without properly researching the program? Do you step into the ocean with your eyes closed and let the first wave knock you over and spin you around? Then why would you do this in life and your career?

Why show up without the proper skills and a well thought-out strategy? What actions and steps can you set in motion immediately to ensure you are ready to face any and all unlikely events or circumstances?

I recently led a round table discussion group at a Leadership Conference on the topic of sharing our most valuable secrets and tips for success. I introduced the concept of having a Plan B regardless of your current work status. There was a member of our table who was incredibly quiet the entire discussion. I assumed they were unmoved by the discussion. I received an email shortly after the discussion sharing how powerful this concept is. They assumed “that if they showed up each day and did a good job the powers that be would give you a promotion and raise”. It never dawned on them that not anyone else is responsible for your development plan and ultimate destiny.

We can all learn from this lesson. Don’t wait for the fork in the road to form a new path. Lay down a purposeful track and let life adapt to your path. Vow to be the best in class and embellish your current role and life. We all deserve to be happy and on purpose. Don’t wait for necessity or catastrophe. Start building today for the future of your dreams.

Here are my Tips for Building a Strategic Plan B

1. Get real!
Take a fearless and honest look at your current circumstances. Are you showing up as the best possible version of yourselves? Is your position and company secured? If your company took a downturn would you be the first to go? Are you doing what it takes to ensure your relevancy?
2. Keep up with the Jones’s!
How current are your skills sets? Are you keeping up with the current technology? Are you raising your hand for stretch assignments? If not get started yesterday.
3. Ready Set Learn!
Knowledge has never been easier to acquire. If you don’t know something, Google it. Want an up to the minute definition, try Wikipedia. There are webinars, audiobooks, podcasts and multiple books on every topic all downloadable to your smartphone. Today you can get an MBA without leaving the comfort of your home! No excuse, stay relevant!
4. Expand your circle.
Network, Network, Network, and just when you think you can’t stand it one more minute, Network some more.
5. Acquire a Personal Board
Times of change are difficult. Your Personal Board will be your Life Line back. They will keep you on track, honest and moving in the right direction. They will become your biggest critics and your strongest advocates all wrapped up in one!
6. Volunteer: Give and Learn
Volunteering is a great way to keep up your spirit while going through turbulent times. Why not volunteer your services in a way that will require you to learn different skill sets? These skills can be leveraged in your current role or added to your resume for future positions.
7. Take a break
I cannot overstate the importance of self-care during times of change. Change is exhausting. You are in a constant state of uncertainty, learning, stepping out of your comfort zone, and all while showing up at your personal best. Eat Well, Sleep, Nap, Take Breaks, Laugh, See Friends, Exercise (preferably outside), Schedule Fun.
8. Take risks
Change is risky business. Going back to school is scary. Learning new technology is overwhelming. Constantly showing up for networking events can be daunting. Creating an on line presence makes one vulnerable to the masses. You know the old adage, no risk no reward.
9. Step Out
Stepping out of your comfort zone is also not easy. I suggest a change of mindset. Think of trying new things as an adventure. You will not like everything, but you never know what will resonate. I think of how empty my life would be if I did not meet all of my great friends through Networking. What if I never took the risk that first Sunday and walked into NYU for my Coaching Certificate? Trust me I was terrified!
10. Get comfortable with discomfort
My biggest life lesson during my transition from running a Sales and Marketing department to heading up Human Resources and starting my business as an executive coach is that anything is possible. I mean anything! We all have the potential to be, do and have anything we want; we just need to be willing to put in the work. I now welcome uncertainty as it is what gives me grit. It is what gives me the gumption each day to show up as the best possible version of myself and never, never, never give up. One can never truly know what lurks around the corner, but I do know I welcome the challenge. I am ready willing and able to do whatever it takes to reach my full potential. I recommend you do the same.

 

If you were a superhero who would you be, and why?

Superheroes

These are the questions I posed to my team in preparation for our recent annual planning meeting.

Why superheroes you ask?

When we think about superheroes we think of their strengthens; however, superheroes are so much more multifaceted. Each superhero has a special power or strength as well as a major flaw or weakness. Isn’t it the same for you and me? 

 As we develop throughout our career it is important to continually assess our skills.  What are our core competencies? Where do we excel? What makes each of us stand out from the crowd? 

 On the flip side we must remember to evaluate our weaknesses. What do we still need to learn? What is our Achilles heel? What is standing in the way of getting that next great job or promotion?

 Superheroes spend much of their days developing their skills. They gather new tools for their tool belts, create force fields to fight off the competition and stand up to opposing points of view. Above all,   they create coping mechanisms to combat their weaknesses.  Couldn’t we all learn a thing or two from them?

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 When superheroes first discover they have superpowers they are always shocked, amazed and have no idea what to do. In each case they find a guide (or mentor) to help them understand and develop their skills, manage the pitfalls, and grow into the best they can be.  Behavior I would recommend to anyone wanting to excel.

 Superheroes main purpose in life is to fight off villains, save the world and build a better tomorrow. Well that sounds a lot like what we do on a daily basis. We fight off the competition, put out fires, and build a better organization for ourselves and the people who will come after us.

 Show me a great superhero and I will show you a great sidekick.  Where would Batman be without Robin? We are all as good as the people we surround ourselves with.  I for one would want my Sales Support Manager Lisa at my side if I was stuck in a burning building.  Or I would turn to our Marketing Director, JoAnn if I wanted to figure out how to fight off our latest opponent. 

 Superheroes can teach us a lot about team building.  Look at the Avengers!  I always tell my team that they are better together then they are apart. Each of them is superstars and has skills and strengths that they share with each other.  We may have our weakness, but as a team we are unstoppable!

 Superheroes also teach us about focus.  They know why they are here, what needs to get done, and they go for it, no questions asked.

 In the end, they always wind up showing their vulnerability. That is what makes them believable, why we follow them, and ultimately trust them with our fate. They almost always fall in love and often have to make difficult work life balance choices.  Look at Spider-Man; he had to choose between the woman he loved and saving the world.

 In retrospect, the superheroes theme was the perfect choice.  After all as I demonstrated, they are a lot like you and I. We have all learned a thing or two from examining their work ethic. 

 So again I ask, if you were a superhero who would you be?   Reply and let me know.

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