So we’re wrapping up 2017 (already)!
For this last post of the year, I would like to share my 2017 review with you.
I hope you’ll find nuggets of inspiration on the questioning route I went through while facing risk, and how I used it to take action immediately.
But lessons only have value if you follow up by acting with intention. Expect these topics to be the main thread linking our leadership discussions next year.
2017 in review: acting with intention in the face of risk!
The journey is the destination: embracing change
Who doesn’t start a new year with a solid plan?
Then…life happens. Your plan becomes plan B, then C, then no plan at all. You throw away the original idea, without taking the time to learn your lesson. And THAT is the real mistake.
Switch to acting with intention instead. Pause in the ‘no man’s land’ and give yourself a chance to explore if the problem is the idea or the way you’re executing it. Then, contemplate where to go next.
Take a look at your 2017 plan. Were your expectations realistic in the first place? Can you connect the various pieces of the story?
A good way to process such information is to see it as building blocks you can iterate with. Check out the post I recently wrote for Achievers on design thinking and why it’s a tool for motivation!
Living in fantasy, reality or fear: to take or not to take risks
“Put up the mirror and be true to yourself. Do the work without dreading the tough questions. They are the ones which will allow you to expand and move forward!”
Carrie Wilkerson, Tropical Think Tank, March 2017
You can read the full post here: Relationships, Work And Life: 9 Lessons From World-Class Entrepreneurs
Have I been my best adventurous self this year? To be fair, I needed the security of my comfort zone.
But life is about dealing with insecurity! Acting with intention is to challenge yourself to take risks safely. How could it change things for the better?
Taking risks is first and foremost about authenticity; dealing with what you really want, what really feels right, or what you really need to do. Even if it involves a difficult conversation with others (or yourself).
Frustrated because you have everything to be a successful leader, but lack the confidence to step up? Download my FREE e-book to become a confident risk taker and inspiring leader in 3 practical steps.
Elevating above the battlefield of the mind: being still and silent
By juggling too many balls, you lose focus. How can you be acting with intention if you’re distracted?
I caught myself going through the motions a lot this year, using excuses such as “I have so much on my plate”. But when you stop, things become clear. So I gave more attention to stillness, silence, and even solitude this year. And last October, the explorer Erling Kagge delivered a similar message while introducing his book, “Silence”:
“The basic state of the brain is one of chaos […] but silence in itself is rich. It’s a key to unlock new ways of thinking.”
Do you prefer stillness or agitation? Can you declutter your mind and create quiet time to process your thoughts (or not to think at all)? When you stop, what’s the value of that extra headspace you create? Listening more? Clarity? Giving considerate attention to someone else? Being a better leader?
The short term and long term game: acting with intention
Simon Sinek rarely comes to Europe. So when he stopped by London last May, it meant a great opportunity to hear his wise leadership advice (such as “hug, don’t hate” when someone makes a mistake).
He encouraged us to think about the short term vs. long term game. Acting with intention is not about looking at the immediate picture before you. It is to act driven by your North Star; something bigger and more meaningful to you.
Are you driven by instant gratification in your decisions? Can you un-stick yourself from the granularity of execution? Can you see it as something bigger, aligned to your purpose?
If so – and if you got frustrated because results are not what you expect – reflect on these words from Mo Gawdat (brilliant author of “Solve for Happy“):
“Metrics matter in the short term: they’re a measure of progress. However, we often hold on to them thinking they’re valid all the way through. As you grow, your standards evolve. A goal is not something to be achieved. It’s just a tool to pull you forward, to see how far you can go, and grow.”
- More about Mo: Is “Happy At Work” At All Possible?
Embrace the mess and let go of the 10%!
Oh dear…no journey is perfect!
It’s OK to flex your plans.
It’s OK not to have all the answers right here, right now.
It’s OK to be a human being.
A bump on the road doesn’t make you unprofessional or an idiot!
For yourself and others, from time to time, let go of the 10% – of your idea of perfection. Leave some room to invite others to suggest options, and to give yourself space to grow.
A few months ago, I stuck this quote on my desktop:
“There are no obstacles in life, only enigmas.”
You might have different elements of the story, but not always in the right order! Afraid of taking risks? Can you tune in to your intuition and connect the dots? What about using it to coach yourself?
Acting with intention is to lead with confidence. It ‘s all about seeing the silver lining when risk invites itself to the party. And here lies the value of iteration; step outside the process, asses your strengths, and give yourself confidence to take the risk of growth. One more time.
What was your biggest lesson for 2017? Share in the comments below, and I’ll write about it next year ☺ !