MD’s and owners I have spoken to have often asked, “Who holds me responsible?”, “ Who supports my development?” and "Who tells me I've done a good thing?"
Whether you are running a business as head of a large organisation, or you started with a passion or a great idea, built that into a business, employed some people and now all of a sudden you reach your early goals and you hit a plateau.
You have had some great success, you could have a great team who are delivering in spades but you start to think of what next? But, who has challenged you to see if that’s enough? Who is pushing your vision and what could be if only you opened all of the possible futures ahead. Who is challenging you and asking for more? Who is ensuring you get the best from you?
Shifting your mindset to stretch your goals
I have used a technique on many occasions which asks people to think about all of the possible solutions that will get them over a 6ft wall. Then once the ideas run dry, I try it again but this time it’s a 100ft wall. All of sudden the boundaries, thinking and solutions change. They of course can be far-fetched – I mean who is ever going to invent a personal jetpack, right? All of these ideas will not only get you over the 100ft they will also clear that 6ft wall too. More importantly for you as a leader thinking about where you are and what you want to achieve, it should extend the belief and vision for where you could be and how far you could push yourself and your business.
Another way of looking at this is to ask yourself what is your Big, Hairy and Audacious Goal (BHAG)? And just check or have someone test you on exactly how big, hairy and audacious they really are. Think about Jim Collins view of the Level 5 Leader and think about what you will leave behind for future leaders?
So the future is expanding but still the pressure is all on you. You are the figure head and whether you are a cuddly bunny or a scary monster the people working for you assume you know what you are doing and your position puts you in the spotlight. So you can’t always turn to your team for support when you need to question things. What about taking things home? Crikey you work hard enough, home is home and should stay separate. Down time is critical to keep you fresh and whilst the family are happy to help, you just can’t do that to them or yourself.
Finding someone you can trust to help you stop feeling lonely at the top
All of a sudden that big office begins seems lonely. But it needn’t. Find someone who can ask you tough questions, someone who can check in with you and keep you on track, someone who can challenge you and keep pushing you. Someone you can turn to and trust for support. They need not know your business inside out but must be able to press your triggers and get to know you enough that they can support, celebrate, prod and poke with the aim to get you to be the best version of you that is possible. And in turn ensure that you are doing the same for your business.
Now some people have a great relationship with a governing board, or a chair, maybe even a confident within their team. But when they do there will always be a bit of performer switched on inside to show you are doing what you need to be doing. Imagine what you could really do if you could open up completely and freely in a space designed to do just that. Your space. I wrote recently about the gift of time and giving yourself a break to just stop and see what happens, but equally important is to give yourself time and support when you have something that is on your mind and seek help that is just for you. One option could be to work with a coach or a mentor and if my experience holds true just having someone to stop you , make you think, hold you accountable and kick your behind may be of great value.
Hey try it.
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