We’re coming to the end of the first week of the year. What….? Yup. January 2018 is upon us and threatens to run off like a herd of wild horses dragging us by the ankle unless we can get a hold of the reigns! I don’t know about you, but I’m excited for this year. I know there will be big change this year. (My business and I are on a journey; my son is in his final year of junior school; my country will (probably) have elections this year – possibly even free and fair ones). I know it will be positive if I make it so – whether I effect that change or whether I only get to observe it for what it brings with it. I haven’t met a year without its hurdles yet. Neither have I met a year without growth. I’ve learned to say the Serenity Prayer repeatedly. And I’ve learned that life is an amazing, joy-filled, sometimes heart-breaking roller coaster ride that’s well worth the price of the ticket. You can’t get off, so you might as well get stuck in and enjoy the ride.
So about grabbing hold of those reigns. There’s much written about living with intention; being present in the moment; writing goals for the week/month/year. As a leader in any regard these things are imperative if you’re to know where you’re going. And people prefer to follow when they think you know where you’re going. There are ALWAYS some curved balls thrown in – that’s the nature of the game. If we’re to duck and dive, and then get back on course, then we’d better know what final destination we’re aiming at so we can re-calibrate. That’s what having specific goals is all about. Writing them down is about being present and being accountable.
As leaders, (whether the leader of a family, team, organisation or project), we can get carried away with our own drive towards that destination. Explaining the destination, route and intentions can be time consuming, especially if your team are on a different page to start off with or have other things going on. For these reasons, sometimes we decide to go alone. They’ll catch up, right? Especially when they see how awesome the thing we’re aiming at is!
As a female/Virgo/aircraft-commanding/perfectionist I’ve been one of the first to run off ahead. After all, I see what I’m aiming at clearly and if I do it myself, it’s a cleaner, shorter ride. But I’ve learned that whilst it may be slower and slightly messier (at least to start with) to make sure your team is with you, it is INFINITELY more interesting and rewarding to go together. My perspective is only that – my perspective. Others add more colours and layers to the picture. They bring thoughts, ideas and considerations that add dimensions I hadn’t considered. Sometimes, their thoughts and ideas are even better than mine! And what they say about a shared load is definitely true. If I’ve chosen the team well, then they can multiply the energy exponentially as we travel. If I haven’t….well…I need to choose the team well!!
Whether this is about your home team or your business team, there are two foundational considerations here. Have we communicated fully and clearly? And do we share a common set of values which we agree to conduct ourselves by? Communication and Culture. Soft topics. The phrase “the soft stuff is the hard stuff” comes to mind. I can run off ahead of my team into 2018. But am I a leader if no one follows?
Where do you want to go this year? Is it clear? Is it written down? Are there steps to it? Actions to the steps? Does your team know about it and are they on board? Are they ready to multiply your energy so that you don’t run out halfway there? Whether it’s in your business or in your home – let’s intentionally take hold of the reigns. And let’s go together.
by Christen Killick
5 January 2018