You sit in the parking lot behind the wheel of your car, hoping no one you know walks by and sees you. Up from the depths of your being, rises a not so slight panic, and you don't understand why. You've driven into this parking lot a thousand times and by rote, park, pick up your briefcase and walk into the building.
It's almost as if the Universe has turned a page on time. Yesterday it was summer, shorts, T-shirt, friends, BBQ's, water, sunshine and endless days. Today your alarm went off too early and you realize that the temperature has dropped, the day begins to dawn with gloomy skies and cool, fall-like breezes.
How does the world know that today is different, today is a new beginning and a new season, yet this unknown trepidation and almost panicky feeling begins to settle into your pores, your spirit, and your outlook.
What the heck is going on? You know you have people counting on you, teams, individuals, students, children of your own, colleagues, and leaders. You have done your homework and prepared for today, so why suddenly do you feel ill-prepared, incompetent and unsure of your ability to perform your role(s)?
There were no tears at the bus this morning and the kids went happily off to their new school year, yet, you almost felt the same feelings of lack of confidence and insecurity from your own kids this morning. "Did I fail to look them in the eye and did I miss an opportunity for a heart to heart this morning?" You wonder out loud. ..
Is there an opportunity to unpack this tonight or will they have already moved on to new friends and new classrooms in their minds?
Tick tock, tick tock, time is ticking away and your 9:00 AM kick-off meeting will be waiting for you when you get upstairs. How are you going to take back control of your day? How will you portray that strong and confident leader as you walk into that room?
Did you ever feel like you had to "fake it till you make it?" Slowly, you regulate your breathing and get in touch with yourself. You remind yourself of the pre-work you have done to kick off this great season ahead. Instead of second-guessing yourself, you remind yourself that you have done the hard work and logically there is nothing else you could have done to prepare for this fall...or is there?
You are constantly on the move, coaching, leading and guiding everyone around you, you believe to the best of your ability..how much of your day is spent putting out fires? Why do these fires spark in the first place? Are you spending more time in reactive work than pro-active?
Let's come back to that thought and talk about you for a moment. When was the last time you worked out? How about meals? Healthy balanced meals are part of your mental well-being. When was the last time your family meal planned or even thought about what's on the menu? When was the last time you took time for inner work and goal setting for yourself? Where did you last spend time with your partner/significant other?
Might it be time to re-evaluate your own sense of self-worth and set some personal goals for the fall and the future?
Have you sunken into a routine of budgeting, numbers, and activities that are missing the mark on building a great organization? In reality, no amount of planning is going to do you, your organization or the team any good, if the leader is off track. What's that old saying? "The fish stinks from the head down".
Leadership is always the root cause of any organizations failure or demise. How true does this ring with you? You can have sales objectives coming out your ying-yang, with goals and KPI's but if the leadership has not built a desired culture or has allowed the wrong people to stay on the bus, you are in a pickle that no amount of planning can solve.
It's September, no better time than now to take some "alone time" to re-evaluate your own personal goals and how you are going to "show up".
This work will pay off in high returns even if you do nothing else this fall. Additionally, taking a giant step back to look at where your organization is in step with the culture you desire to have, the growth you desire to have and the development of the people (right people? right seat? right bus?) will pay off far more than pushing the numbers. Do these things and the numbers will magically appear! ;)
What have you got to lose? Is it time to get back to basics and lose that oh-so-panicky feeling? Consider this before it's too late!
Mirror mirror on the wall, who needs the most inner work of all?
Let me know if you need some help!
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