4 Steps for Staying the Course When Success Seems Slow

Leaders are hardwired to win and often become very impatient when the wins don’t happen quickly. 

It’s easy to forget that big wins don’t happen overnight. They are made up of many small wins along the way.

In order to make significant progress and experience the grand results we desire, we need to maintain a proper perspective.

If you are frustrated with not accomplishing your ultimate vision quickly enough, take the following 4 steps:

1 – Review What You’ve Accomplished So Far

When you’re discouraged because things aren’t happening fast enough, it’s easy to feel like you’re failing or falling behind. The reality is that you’ve probably taken many successful steps forward that are required to reach your ultimate goal. When you feel down in the dumps, make a list of all the accomplishments you and your team have experienced so far. You might just be surprised how much you’ve achieved already.

2 – Celebrate Small Wins Along the Way

Now that you have your list of small wins created, schedule time to celebrate with your team. If they are personal wins, celebrate with your friends and family. But whatever you do, don’t gloss over them as if they don’t matter. While they may not be the ultimate achievement you desire, they are critical stepping stones in your journey. Allow yourself to feel the emotions that come with accomplishment.

3 – Remember the Importance of Compounding Interest 

Most people expect to jump from the starting line to the final destination in one giant leap. However, that’s not how success works. Each action you take compounds and multiplies. One small step may not feel like much at the moment, but it could be a key breakthrough toward achieving your ultimate goal. Keep taking action and trust that each one will build on the momentum of the previous steps.

4 – Knock Down the Next Domino

One key item could impact many others. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is one thing I can do today that will impact many others? 
  • What one action will trigger multiple reactions that will expedite my success? 

Invest the time to think strategically so you can make individual decisions that will eliminate many other decisions. Consider one thing you can do that will contribute the most toward your ultimate goal. These are all individual “dominos” that have the potential to knock down dozens or hundreds of others and fast-track your success. Don’t worry about every domino. Instead, focus on the significant ones that can make a big difference.

The success journey is often full of frustrations and discouragement. However, think about championship sports teams. It’s rare that a team will go through an entire season without challenges or setbacks. The great teams push through and stay the course knowing that perseverance will help them reach their ultimate goal. In fact, it’s often the challenges they face that lead to their greatest accomplishments. When they overcome each obstacle, it empowers them to tackle the next challenges that arise. This strengthens them to accomplish the goal of winning a championship that they only dreamed about at the beginning of the season. 

As a leader, model these four steps to your followers. They need to see you navigate the ups and downs of the journey toward achieving big goals. Help them focus on the small wins and celebrate with them along the way. Encourage them about what they’ve accomplished so far in order to progress toward the ultimate destination.

If you need help determining how to grow in critical leadership areas, let’s chat to discuss how I can help you. CLICK HERE to learn more about my coaching services and we’ll schedule a time to talk about how working together may be just what you need to grow to the next level.

Until next time…make today GREAT!

5 Questions to Receive Valuable Feedback

Leadership is challenging. 

That may seem like an obvious statement, but many leaders forget that what they’re doing isn’t for everyone and they don’t give themselves enough credit for stepping up to lead. 

The world is always changing.

Because of this reality, continual growth is mandatory if we want to continue leading in an ever-changing world. One key way to grow is to receive specific feedback from those you lead and your peers.

Many leaders are afraid to ask for feedback because they may not like the answers they receive. However, it’s vital for us to hear the truth if we’re going to shine a light on our blind spots and improve our skills.

In order to receive valuable feedback that you can use as a springboard for growth, ask the following 5 questions:

1 – What am I currently doing well as a leader?

Start with a positive question. People are often afraid to give feedback because they don’t want negative repercussions. When you give them an opportunity to share something positive, it will help ease the tension. If they struggle to tell you something, take note that it could be a sign that there are some obvious gaps you need to address.

2 – What areas do I need to improve?

People see others’ weaknesses more than their own. They already know where you’re struggling and probably have been discussing these weaknesses with others. Disarm them by telling them you truly want to know what they’re seeing so you can become better. Ensure that nothing they say will come back to hurt them. And sincerely mean it.

3 – How can I help you become more successful?

This question shifts the spotlight toward others. It communicates that you value their success as much as your own. When you ask this question, you’re giving them the opportunity to share their personal goals and express what they need from you as their leader to achieve them.

4 – What team or organizational gaps do you currently see?

This question allows people to give input about higher-level issues going on in the organization. Once again, they already see the gaps and have probably been talking about them with others. Giving them a voice to express what they’re seeing will help them feel valued and will help you understand issues to address from their perspective.

5 – Is there anything else you’d like to share?

This question is helpful because something may come to mind that doesn’t seem to fit the previous questions. You’re giving them an opportunity to discuss other matters that are on their minds in order to get their perspective. This can open the door to creative ideas and deeper relationships with your people.

Each of these questions is a prompt for deeper conversations. If you’re not in the habit of seeking feedback, be prepared for resistance. Many people get nervous telling their leaders about the weaknesses they see in them. However, when you make this a habit and people realize you sincerely care about their input, it can change your culture dramatically. 

When you ask these questions, you are displaying humility and communicating that you know you’re not perfect. This is significant because too many leaders carry themselves with a posture that communicates the opposite. Humble leaders who seek feedback are the kind of leaders people love to follow.

The key is that once you receive this feedback, you must do something with it. If you ask the questions but refuse to address your shortcomings, you will lose respect and people will not give you future feedback. Make sure you are intentional with both asking the questions and then taking action to grow.

If you need help determining how to grow in critical leadership areas, let’s chat to discuss how I can help you. CLICK HERE to learn more about my coaching services and we’ll schedule a time to talk about how working together may be just what you need to grow to the next level.

Until next time…make today GREAT!

7 Steps to Help You Reset After Disruption Occurs

If we’ve learned anything from the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s that disruption can happen anytime anywhere, even everywhere at the same time. We can’t control everything happening in our world on a daily basis. Chaos and unexpected surprises are inevitable. 

With that being said, it’s important for leaders to be willing and able to reset themselves, their teams, and their organizations when things go awry. 

When you find yourself navigating challenging situations and seasons, here are 7 steps to take to get a fresh start from a new beginning point.

1 – Review Your Mission, Vision, and Values

While things change around you regularly, your mission, vision, and values should remain consistent. Too many organizations go through the struggle of crafting important statements, then never reviewing them after the project is completed. When facing challenges, it’s vital to go back and review where you started so you can relaunch from solid ground. Review the documents you have created. Regain perspective of why you exist as a team and organization. Reset your thinking so you can advance confidently into the future.

2 – Embrace Your New Starting Point

As much as we’d like to change the negative things that have happened in our world or marketplace, we can’t. We can, however, control our thoughts and embrace the new starting point that we find ourselves standing on. Don’t long for the “good ol’ days.” Instead, accept today’s starting point for what it is and build from there. See it as a new opportunity to do something great.

3 – Determine Your Desired Destination

To be successful moving forward, you need to lift your eyes up from your current reality and envision where you want to go in the future. Embrace one of Steven Covey’s habits of highly successful people – begin with the end in mind. Don’t act until you know where you want to go. Otherwise, you’ll simply be busy but may not like where you arrive.

4 – Chart a Course to Get “There”

One key role of a leader is to map out the steps required to get from “here” to “there” for your team. After you’ve reviewed where you’ve come from, accepted your new starting point, and determined your end goal, it’s time to chart a course to travel. While plans may change along the way (and they likely will), develop a living document that states what needs to be done in what order and on what timeline.

5 – Clearly Communicate Your Plan

This step is critical to get everyone on the same page and rowing in the same direction. After you’ve done the challenging work of developing an action plan, it’s time to gather your team members together and clearly explain what needs to happen, who is responsible for each action step, and what the deadlines are for when things need to be accomplished. The clearer you are, the more effective and efficient your team will be.

6 – Review Your Progress Consistently

As you begin to advance toward your end goal, it’s critical to keep your plan in front of you consistently. What milestones have you achieved? What challenges are you facing? Where are you falling behind or exceeding your expectations? It’s wise to begin each week by looking at your plan to know what needs to be done and end your week by reviewing what has been accomplished. Check things off your list to build confidence and momentum.

7 – Reward Your Team for Progress

Finally, make sure to celebrate along the way. Too many leaders get caught up in the “doing” and overlook rewarding themselves and their teams for making progress. There are always new goals to achieve, but don’t overlook the importance of celebrating the milestones you accomplish along the way. Small celebrations are vital to carry you through to achieving your big overall victories. If you don’t reward progress, it will slow down and damage the morale of your team. Even if you need to assign a celebration coordinator, do it! Make sure your wins and progress aren’t taken for granted.

Leading during a season of uncertainty and disruption is hard. It’s exhausting. Leaders are fatigued from facing daily challenges. However, when you lead strategically by implementing these seven steps, you and your team will experience greater levels of success, which will motivate you to keep moving forward when you face new challenges that arise.

If you need help navigating your current challenges, let’s chat to see how I can help you. CLICK HERE to learn more about my coaching services and we’ll schedule a time to talk about how working together may be just what you need to achieve your goals.

Until next time…make today GREAT!