“The best way to ride a horse is in the direction in which it is going.”
Image from Unsplash by Annika Treial
A fair percentage of the coaching engagements I’ve been involved in over the years have related to career transitions. Two common terms for such assignments are on-boarding and assimilation coaching.
One of the more challenging and often stressful assignments is when a new leader or team is brought in to “turn around” an organization. In such situations the company/horse and the vast number of employees/riders are headed in different directions.
These assignments almost always involve casting a more inspiring vision and enrolling others in changing direction toward a better future.
Assuming you are proactively taking steps to lead and manage your own career trajectory, what strategies and tactics can and will you take to lasso those horses and get in the saddle of those headed in a direction you would like to travel?
Do yourself a big favor and set some worthy goals for the new year.
If you are like many of us, you are thinking, I do this every year, or maybe why bother?
Perhaps, like many people, you stick to your resolutions until sometime in February, when things fall apart due to bad weather, waning discipline, or competing priorities at home or work.
Whatever you do or don’t do, you can bet that changes are coming. The question to ask yourself is whether you are going to control their direction, or simply react to whatever comes your way.
Please consider improving your odds of success by adding a variety of social and structural supports. To learn more about how to do this, put the book Influencer – The Power to Change Anything on your holiday and new year reading list.
Having lived in Michigan over half my life, I’ve experienced my share of icy roads! Before front or four-wheel drive, traction control, and the latest in snow tire technology, today’s quote was the best advice and coaching to avoid or minimize accidents.
How do you try to control the many aspects of your life? How fast are you going these days? How many icy patches are you experiencing on your personal and professional roads through life?
It turns out the more we slam on the brakes and over-steer, the worse things become.
Where is it appropriate for you to fully embrace an icy patch or two in your world? How can you calmly turn into these skids to get back on the road to a better life?
“I will accept your influence, guidance, and direction if (and only if) I believe that you and I share similar goals.”
—David Maister, former Harvard Business School professor
Image from Unsplash by Nik MacMillan
How coachable are you? How open and receptive are you to the guidance, direction and influences of others in your professional or personal life?
I begin working with all new clients with an all-day, one-on-one workshop in my office to clarify and fully align on the specific goals and objectives we intend to produce. With this up-front investment to align our objectives we can optimize the full benefit and value of our relationship.
How can and will you enhance the receptivity and coach-ability of yourself and those around you by doing the up-front work of assuring shared goals for your efforts?
“Only the guy who isn’t rowing has time to rock the boat.”
—Jean-Paul Sartre, 20th Century French Philosopher and Playwright
Image from Unsplash by Josh Calabrese
What is your immediate interpretation of today’s quote? Is being a boat rocker a bad thing or a good thing? How much does it depends on where the boat is headed?
Most people, on many occasions, tend to go along to get along. They do not want to be seen as individuals who are not pulling their weight. If and when they do stop rowing and stand up to look around, the other rowers will often apply peer pressure to have them sit down and get back with the program.
Conformity and going with the flow just doesn’t suit the vision, values, and sense of self for many folks these days. They feel compelled to stand up and look toward an alternate horizon more in alignment with their true selves. The boat rocking may result in them jumping ship or being forced to walk the plank due to the apparent disconnect or perceived mutiny observed by the boat’s captain and crew.
Where are your personal and professional boats headed? In which situations is it warranted to put more of your legs and back into your rowing efforts, or stand up and rock the boat, to either change its direction or jump ship?
“Some people cross your path and change your whole direction.”
Image from timemachine.wikia.com
Those who have been following The Quotable Coach for some time already have a mental “time machine,” and have taken various trips into the past and future. If you have not yet built your imaginary time machine, take a moment to do so now.
Today’s trip takes you back in time to visit the friends, family, teachers, mentors, and coaches who have made a positive and lasting difference in your life.
Examine the way in which they were “there for you,” guiding, supporting, and even providing tough love to help you discover and pursue your destiny.
Should any of these people still be around, find a way to acknowledge and thank them for the difference they made in your life.
Where can you play a similar role to support a special person in your personal or professional world?