The sun started to go behind the clouds and it became darker and darker on the beach. I was only sitting in my chair for about an hour. I needed the break and was so looking forward to a morning of calm and rest. Should I ride this unsettled weather out or rethink my day? Should I stay or should I go?
We’ve all been on uneven ground in our personal and professional lives. We know something is no longer working but we are so uncertain how to balance things out. We may ask ourselves:
- Should I stick it out with this team?
- How can I be a more assertive leader?
- Do I still want to stay in this relationship?
- How much time can I really devote to this project?
- Do I actually want to go down this road and open myself up?
Is it best to pivot in a new direction and what would that turn look like? What steps should I take to make the best move possible?
Six steps to pivot that can steady and grow your leadership
1. ANALYZE YOUR POSSIBLE CHOICES
We all have choices and that can mean to do nothing too. I remember being on a team that just didn’t work for me. I needed to move into another area of the bank and I knew it. But I had to spend a great deal of time figuring out my direction. Some changes are of course bigger than others, but make sure to see all the sides of a pivot and be clear if that pivot will help you grow as a leader. But if the answer is yes, then make it happen.
2. CREATE A FEW GOALS, INCLUDING A STRETCH GOAL
To be successful with a pivot, developing goals can be instrumental. Goals help us stick with our plan in measurable ways. They hold us accountable. Write them out and keep them visible.
- What are your short-term goals and objectives in following a new road?
- What stretch goal is necessary to help you keep growing your leadership?
- What is your over-arching long-term goal that you plan to achieve?
3. BRING IN THE ADVISORS
When deciding on a pivot, check-in with people you trust and admire. These advisors can be our co-workers, friends, relatives or bosses. Running our ideas past our fan club and asking for honest feedback can be quite insightful. Before I pivoted to another team I met with my mentor who helped me assess my career goals as well as connected me with a team leader. Don’t miss up the opportunity to get input and guidance.
4. REPOSITION YOUR DIRECTION
Carefully design your pivot using your goals to guide you. Know the actions you want to take and set yourself up for a successful journey. Make sure you have everything in place and you have opened your mind to your new choices. If any additional training or experience is needed, be sure to build that in.
5. TRY IT OUT
Now comes the time to mesh all your hard work together. Give the pivot a shot and try not to look back. Put your whole heart and mind into your new direction. Work as hard as you can to make it successful.
- Ask for feedback and be open to receive it
- Spend extra time developing your skills
- Don’t get discouraged if at first it is very difficult
6. RECONFIGURE TO ASSURE BALANCE
All is not lost if you need to tweak your decision. Oftentimes we don’t know how we will feel about a pivot until we are in it. Readjust if it will make your pivot more satisfying and empowering.
So I had to pivot after the storm came to my beach day. But with guidance from my fan club (my husband) we chose an alternative route following the shoreline all the way home. And it was fantastic!
What pivots have worked for your leadership? How did you make them happen?