Crafting a Personal Mission Statement: Your Path to Purpose

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Have you ever found yourself wondering, in some quiet moment: ‘Is this all there is?’ Those whispers from within, hinting at a deeper yearning for happiness, satisfaction, or a clearer direction in life, are more common than you think. Life’s routine of paying bills and tackling emergencies may be balanced with wonderful trips, memorable family occasions and fun hobbies… but what truly fulfills us is pursuing these with an overarching sense of purpose.

Creating a personal mission statement is like drawing a map for the journey. Imagine navigating each day with a clear sense of purpose, leading to a life that’s not only more productive and happier, but truly fulfilling!

Without a personal roadmap, your life’s path can feel dictated by randomness, responsibilities and at times, the will of others. But it doesn’t have to be. A personal mission statement, crafted through curiosity, introspection and a bit of soul-searching, can illuminate your own vision and values, leading you to live your best life. 

Interested? Here’s a step-by-step guide:  

“Begin with the End in Mind” – Stephen Covey

To start, set up a folder or get a notebook devoted to the purpose. As you work with the steps below, jot ideas down and let writing flow. Anything you write down has a far more profound effect.  You can also record voice memos as ideas come, then make notes on what stood out after. The way this works is to mine for the thoughts and answers inside you, the place where your genuine resources reside. You’ll find by tapping into them they will organically take on a shape which you can hone into a truly authentic personal mission statement.  

  • Discover Your Strengths

To start, identify what you excel at, both professionally and personally. Highlight activities that bring you peace, joy, or that sense of being in the zone. Understanding what you’re good at and what brings you happiness is crucial for setting a clear focus.

  • Determine Your Values

Consider the question, “What is life asking of me?” Reflect on what meaning drives your responsibilities and contributions to your family and friends, in your community and at work. Now, think of your heroes. Which of their qualities inspire you or are ones you’d like to emulate. Pinpointing those contributions you find to be of worth and fulfilling will be the bedrock principles by which to guide your future actions.

  • Envision Your Best Self

Now that you’ve reacquainted yourself with your strengths and values and what makes you feel most useful and happy in each role, envision yourself at your best TODAY. It’s not about reaching back for attributes from younger years – you’ve already been there. Instead, reflect on moments you’ve felt most alive and fulfilled and jot those down as clues. It’s about who you want to be now, and how you want to make choices to effectively build the best life that is truest for you. 

  • Define Your Purpose

Assess these key areas of your life—physical, mental, social, spiritual—and how living your values should serve each. It can be clearer to you if you also list the roles you have, and do the same –two slightly different ways to get a well rounded purpose.  This isn’t an exercise about achievements you shoot for, but about detecting the principles you want to live by and who you aspire to become.

  • Envision Your Legacy

Fast forward to the future: What do you want to be remembered for by the people important to you and in each role you play? This vision can act as a powerful motivator for shaping your actions and decisions. When daily life can make you forget, or if you’re at a crossroads, remembering what you envision here can suddenly simplify your choices, often making the right one stand out clearly. 

  • Set Your Long View Goals

With all the groundwork laid, you can now articulate a few key, overarching goals. While we have many goals day to day or year to year, for this, look to broader, long range goals. Some examples may be: To cultivate a deep, trusting relationship with my life partner, to raise kids who know they are loved and valued for exactly who they are, to build a business that serves others and has a strong and satisfied staff, to be known as a person of integrity in business and my personal relationships. 

  • Write Your Mission Statement

This statement should be your guiding light, succinct yet comprehensive enough to give you direction both daily and in the long term. Whether it’s a flowing paragraph or two or bullet points, the clarity of your mission is what matters most.

A personal mission statement is more than words on paper; it’s a living document that evolves as you do. It’s about:

  • Leading a life aligned with your deepest priorities.
  • Navigating daily challenges with an eye on your long-term vision.
  • Steering clear of distractions that don’t serve your mission.
  • Becoming a creative force in your life and a positive influence on others.

In crafting your personal mission statement, you’re not just plotting a course for success but defining the very essence of your life’s journey. It’s your own constitution that aligns with your personal “Why’s” to guide both your daily actions and long-term outcomes – so worth investing a little time to do with interest and curiosity. Enjoy the process, for it is in this creation that you’ll find a deeper connection to your purpose and a more profound sense of direction in everything you do.  

And you’ll want to regularly review, revise, and refresh your mission statement to ensure it continues to reflect your deepest values and goals.

If you feel stuck or are struggling to define any of the steps above, it can help to flesh things out in conversation with a trusted mentor, teacher or coach. If you would like help to get started, to talk through any step where you may be stuck or need clearer vision, or want to revise a former mission statement, I’m here to help! Just contact me and we can discuss what best supports you on this very worthy endeavor.

 

Skill Will Matrix: Build Your Own Effectiveness With a More Effective Team

Last month, we talked about the role of boundaries in leadership in the workplace. In it we covered how knowing your staff’s strengths and weaknesses are the key to setting boundaries – and that boundaries are actually welcomed. Because boundaries help everyone know what’s ok and what’s not within a company, so they can tailor their responses accordingly – whether working with you, co-workers or clients.

As the boss, manager or team leader, boundaries help you too; each day there are many interactions in which you will be reinforcing those as they arise, in both obvious or more subtle ways.  So while company guidelines are there, there’s the next level: the more finely tuned boundaries between you and each staff member. Knowing what each individual is capable of is a critical element in defining, conveying and upholding those. And as you do, you will find more ease and confidence in delegating and managing. You will be freed up to do more, while enjoying more office harmony and success achieving goals 

A game changing tool I’d suggest to better assess each individual is the Skill/Will Matrix. Created by Max Landsberg, it shows how to” build your own effectiveness by building the effectiveness of your team members.” That bonus alone is worth the exercise! 

The Matrix helps to frame not just their skills but their motivation level. Combined, you can see each person more clearly and tailor your management of their needs and maximize their potential in achieving the company’s objectives- and your goals too.


The Skill/Will Matrix

The Matrix is a simple chart with four quadrants, each representing a category that denotes levels of skill (high or low) and motivation or will (also high or low). The idea is that each of your people roughly falls into one of these categories. If you understand each person this way, you can engage and manage them in a way that truly fits them. In doing so, you will help each employee grow to be their most effective.That leads to an engaged, happier, more accomplished work force. And you will not only will the satisfaction level be palpable, you will delegate more effectively, thus freeing you up. And the rewards are felt by all as you achieve greater success individually and as a team and a company.

The Four Quadrants:

The graphic above shows four sections in the matrix:

  • Quadrant 1: High Skill, High Will
  • Quadrant 2: Low Skill, High Will
  • Quadrant 3: Low Skill, Low Will
  • Quadrant 4: High Skill, Low Will

Identifying each person by a quadrant is not to put them in a generic box. It is a way to understand and better help them (and you!). Start by determining what quadrant each person may fit into, generally speaking. Then, take a look at their responsibilities, personal goals, workflow and how it relates to their deliverables. 

Skill vs. Will

Skill level can depend on their training, and past work experience. Their level of competence makes all the difference in how well they function in their job. Fortunately, people can be trained to do more or better, in most cases.  Will, or motivation, is a little tricker to assess and work with. There are people who could be more motivated based on a new title, more responsibilities, monetary goals or a sense of success, satisfaction and team camaraderie.  Looking more closely at these clues will unlock the most effective ways to communicate, motivate, and match tasks to skill sets. 

For example, if someone is highly motivated but needs more training to move up, then you can talk to them about getting that training. If another is highly motivated and highly skilled, perhaps you can give them more responsibility, have them oversee others, or check in on them less than you had been. 

Matrix Driven Solutions

Within each quadrant you see there are suggested actions that work with the level of skill and will combined. Note that all include praise and endorsement. I’m a big believer in that. 

If there are productivity issues, is it due to a team with mismatched skills or motivation for the task? Can you provide training to the ones who need it to create better results?  If someone is not as motivated, what steps can you take to work with them to increase that? Would one of your highly motivated people thrive in a different section of the company that is a better match for their skill set? Would a new title or pay grade create the necessary motivation in one of your highly skilled people?  I found this article to be a nice source of specific actions you can take for each quadrant.

Know this is a fluid process, especially because your people will inevitably grow from it! Expect that some may move from one quadrant to another over time. Motivation may increase in all as the team works better – and as you enjoy the fruits of the process as well. Plan to do a personnel review every six months or so, using this tool.

If you’d like to read the Landsberg book which started it all, it’s called the Tao of Coaching. It’s well worth the read as its focus is on creating more time for yourself by delegating well, and enjoying that you are building good teams and working effectively with them… all of which enhances success! 

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Understanding the Role of Boundaries and Leadership in the Workplace

The last 3 years changed almost everything in most industries. Leaders and staff alike have been trying to ground themselves and stay afloat through the transition.  Understanding the role of boundaries and leadership in the workplace – and how positive they can be – is a key to successfully navigating the rapid changes caused by the pandemic in businesses of every size. 

Boundaries create essential frameworks for people to understand each other, get along better, learn about themselves and grow! They are incredibly useful limits that define what’s ok and what’s not for each of us. A world without guidelines would be a little like the earth having less gravity to hold us all down!  And the workplace is no different. 

We come into a company culture and learn the ropes – what’s expected of us ,and the standards by which we are to make decisions and take action. Without those in place, any organization would be chaotic at best, and eventually fail. As a leader, staff will look to you for what and where those boundaries are. So your own clarity around boundaries, your ability to communicate them and help others meet them is a necessary skill bordering on an art! 

UNDERSTANDING BOUNDARIES 

Boundaries should actually be welcomed by your staff. They do so much better knowing what works and what doesn’t, and how the company – and you – need things to be done.

Realizing this removes a lot of the discomfort that can go with the idea of setting and maintaining boundaries. The art of it comes in how you communicate boundaries with each person and their unique of skills, motivational level and personality.  And that means you need to know your people. 

UNDERSTANDING YOUR PEOPLE

Boundaries are not one size fits all. It helps to remember that our own internal sense of what feels right to us and what doesn’t isn’t one size fits all. Those are shaped by many sources: our family, the neighborhood, our schools, country and culture. You will have to invest a little time to understand what will motivate your people.

You’ll need to take into account how your people think, and the nature of the business they were attracted to. If they are creative, more flexible parameters and work spaces may make them most productive. Whereas if you have engineers or accountants, more defined frameworks with specific goals and timelines can bring out your team’s best. If you can fashion boundaries around who you have working for you, you’ll be on the path to greater harmony and success.

Dr. Linda Lausell Bryant, who teaches on adaptive leadership at New York University, told the New York Times, “I’m very attuned to the unspoken needs that people play out in the workplace. You can’t change that. You can acknowledge it. You can give it space. In the end, it can’t rule the day, either, because in the workplace there are higher things and rules that are going to guide what we need to do here. It’s helpful to know that, and be aware of it as a boss. It’s even better if employees are aware of it and feel that you’re not trying to change who they are.” 

EVERYONE BENEFITS

Communication is key – how you convey what is expected, and uphold it, on a case by case basis. If you are able to take employees as individuals and work within what you know about them, it can help them see boundaries as a positive. And if they do, they communicate better with you and each other. Understanding the role of boundaries is a golden ticket!

Everyone can feel more comfortable and will likely perform better in a clearly structured work environment with clearly defined boundaries. Your staff will also have a better work life- balance if you encourage it, especially if you mirror it yourself. This promotes good mental and physical health – the basis for everything good.  And well-balanced people are more able to be present in the time they’re at work, with a higher level of performance with those around them as well as in the goals they achieve. 

This is where it gets interesting! So much so that I’m going to write a series on this. Next month, I will introduce you to an extremely helpful analysis tool with which a leader or your managers can assess each individual to determine both their level of motivation and the level of their skills. It allows you to see each person very clearly and develop a kind of roadmap for their participation in their position and towards your objectives and their own goals!

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Life Decisions: Change Your Work or Retire?

Is this on your list of life decisions: change your work… or retire?  How would either work?  How can you identify the signs and have the courage to act?

You might want to revamp what you are doing in your current company, or are wondering how you could use your skill set with a different title… or something pursuing an entirely different area of career. Or, depending on where you are in life, your thoughts might be on leaving your work entirely. When do you know it’s time to make a change? 

IDENTIFY THE SIGNS

Signs that you may be ready for a change come in obvious or unexpected forms. You might notice you’ve taken more interest in talking to others about their work, or how they made a change – or find yourself reading articles about other fields, or retirement.  More concrete clues are no longer feeling challenged in your role or being unsatisfied with your compensation or benefits.  Other signs are more subtle. You might be increasingly feeling restless, less motivated, run down, a little prickly or more impatient. You may catch yourself daydreaming more, or checking out ads among others. Give weight to them. Ask what those are about.

One definitive signal that it’s time for some kind of change: When you start asking yourself is this all there is!

LEAN IN TO YOUR WHY

These signs are springboards and should guide you to look at your why. Tune into where you are in the process. What is driving that?  Which one most closely fits what you’re going through? Do you want to:

  • Change to a different position within the same company
  • Keep doing what you do, but at a different company
  • Change your work to something else entirely
  • Retire (If so, you’ll find more helpful prompts in my blog, Crossing The Threshold to Retirement

THE COURAGE TO ACT

When it comes to life decisions like this, it’s an act of courage to validate and act on what your inner instincts are telling you. But it’s important to think things through so your actions are intentional, and a set up for your highest good as well as that of the company and your staff or coworkers. There IS a way to do this well and lay a path of integrity. Begin with the end in mind. Thinking through details like these will help you cover that ground: 

  • How do you want to leave where you are?
  • What legacy are you creating with each step you take?
  • How can you prepare your responsibilities so they can be taken on by the next person?
  • What people do you need to inform? When and how? 

If you recognize the signs that it’s time to make a change in your work life… whether it ends up as small shifts that bring you more satisfaction, or big decisions that can take your life on a whole new track, I can help you navigate the process within yourself.  Wanting to work on the courage to take such affirming life decisions, don’t hesitate to reach out to me

In addition, those in the nonprofit sector may be interested in 2 distinctly different classes that I co-lead with my colleague Nancy Jackson through EOS Transitions to guide you through.  We gather a small group of equals—a cohort—and together we explore, share and prepare all aspects of this milestone choice and its attendant emotions

Thresholds for retiring Baby Boomer executives is for those executives who want to assure their legacy. And Thresholds for Executives with Continuing Careers for leaders looking to move out of their current roles into new ones, at the same or a new company or field. 

Both classes start on March 8. Learn all the details of this invaluable opportunity and register for classes by visiting the EOS Transitions website.

How To Free Yourself By Empowering Your Staff

Did you realize you can free yourself by empowering your staff to achieve more, creating a successful situation for you, them and the company?

As you wrap up year-end projects and quarterly goals, I’d like to encourage you to pat yourself on the back for all you did to come through this year! It has taken courage to navigate this new frontier in the work world, courage to adjust to new paradigms, often with new staff and practices, and some days (weeks?), courage just to show up.

Bravo!

I advocate self care as a professional skill, not just a personal one. As you take time this month to look at what’s ahead, here’s the next level of self care to ponder: How can you guide your staff to rise to a fuller potential? Besides all the obvious service to individual achievement, team morale, and company goals, it will also have the benefit of freeing you up to do more of what you want to do!

This is a win/win scenario. If you have some capable people, they certainly want to grow and take pride in their contributions positively affecting the team and company goals. The good that can happen is almost limitless if they feel recognized and trusted. So how do you level up your own professional aims by empowering your staff?

For some of you, that may involve looking with new eyes at how talented and capable your staff may be – or identifying individuals with potential that you hadn’t considered before. For others, it might be working to let go of the established top-down control in exchange for freeing up your time to use toward where you want to go. This change really can shift the culture and benefit everyone in unexpected ways.

Revisit Your Own Path

Many have been so busy handling changes in personnel, procedure and policies, it’s been hard to be innovative, let alone resume goals for your own path. Those may now  look very different than they did pre-pandemic. Use any quiet time you can get during the holidays or early January to come up for air on this topic. Regain your sense of your own objectives. This is critical to have in mind, even if not fully formed, because it will be what motivates you to make way for your team to step up, and successfully add to their roles.

Assess Your People

Next, book a meeting with yourself to assess your staff, one by one. Your aim should be  to understand where each is on their developmental path. Ask yourself: Have the few who have always stood out gotten the lions’ share of opportunity? Who else could take on more? Who has been eager? Who may need more training to do well? What kind would they need, and how could you help them get it?

You will have some people who are content being right where they are, doing what they’re doing. If they are producing, that’s a solid asset as is.

If some have potential, but are not highly skilled, you can develop their capacity. Inevitably there may be some who are just not right for the task, who have to be let go. It’s hard to do, but because it is, we often do them a disservice  (and the company too) to keep them on too long. And if it’s causing the employee angst because they know they are not doing well and it is taxing the productivity of co-workers, you have to have the courage to let them go, perhaps helping them to see that their talents and fulfillment could be be waiting elsewhere.

The more you become sensitive to who is in front of you, what they are capable of, and how they can be developed, the more you can support them… which supports you. 

Empower Your Staff

Here are some fairly simple ways you can offer opportunities to take leadership roles:

  • Include them in discussions so higher ups or clients can see your staff understands the issues
  • Defer to them in meetings to contribute rather than managing it all yourself
  • Put someone in charge when you step away

If someone is high on the motivation/skills matrix, you don’t need a lot of oversight. Instead, ask them coaching questions about a project ie: who have you talked to, what do you think will be most impactful and why. This develops their problem solving skills and you access what they know.  If there’s room for people to think out of the box, you may achieve more goals in creative ways or see solutions that hadn’t been there. All of this creates a culture where others can step up for you.

You can free yourself by empowering your staff, so you can do what you aspire to do. You can work to create a culture where goals can be met in an environment where people can innovate. Examine who is on your team, how motivated they are, and how you can set them up for success. Know they will need time to ramp up.  Let them know that there is room for their learning curve. That will give them courage to take the leap. As a leader, this can be a courageous act in businesses where productivity and outcomes are very important.

If you’d like to talk through ideas or concerns about how this could happen, please contact me

Lead Through Anxiety

Fall leaf on grey rocks

You can lead through anxiety by identifying and managing it, and have a positive impact on your staff too. Change is inevitable, but it seems it’s everywhere and all at once these days. Elections are brewing, the workplace will be adapting pandemic precautions yet again, employees are hard to find or keep, not to mention the accelerating paradigm and communication shifts. Yet you have to show up and meet goals, solve problems, incorporate new practices without a hitch, setting the tone for all, and lead as if you know how to do this… or do you? 

And then you may be anxious as summer draws to a close… Are you feeling stressed at the thought of facing the last quarter of the year, with major work to complete? Or is it just the sensory change as the daylight grows shorter and the temperature shifts? If so, I’ve got news for you – you’re not alone.  

It’s hard to be inspiring and supportive if you are feeling like Atlas. One thing that can be a great leveler is to realize that most that you work with, whether your clients, co-workers or staff, may be feeling this too, to one degree or another.  My blogs on self care, creating more time, a better work-life balance and the tools to navigate the paradigm shifts going on in the workplace have been the most popular for a reason. 

How can you inspire others when you are struggling yourself? 

BECOME AWARE

You can’t work on something you can’t name. By becoming aware of and labeling what you are feeling or fearing, you can sort it out. That alone will take away half its power. Come at it with curiosity and a sense that relief can come from unmasking it.  This should be interesting to you, not shameful, or make you feel like failure. Far from it. 

You have enough on your plate so make it easy. Once you’ve identified a fear or stressor, Take the next 5 days to see if you can stay aware and pinpoint when it appears.  If you don’t have a lot of time, just check in midday and end of the day for a week and see what comes to light. 

TRACK IT 

Next, find a little time to write about it. When does it come up? Can you identify why? Note how it affects you physically, mentally, and/or emotionally. You can write it all out, or just put down simple phrases, even one word. Once you know what you’ve got going on, you can work on it. 

ACCEPT IT

Then accept that it’s there – and make it ok. How? Well, sometimes just seeing what’s going on lets half of the air out of the thing. It’s not so mysterious, bubbling down inside you, coloring your day, moods or performance…tiring you out. Ask: Is there a positive or gain on the flip side of any kind to refocus on?  And know that now that you know its face, you can think of strategies to deal with it. But you don’t have to do that alone. 

SHARE IT

Start by sharing with your support network. An outside perspective from someone who gets you and has your best interests in mind can relieve the strain you might not have even noticed you were carrying around. 

Don’t have that network?  It’s time to build one. Great options are to go to someone neutral, who is guaranteed to have your back – a professional coach like me, or a therapist. If you could have a conversation with an equal in the professional world (so they have the experience to get what’s going on), preferably in an entirely different field than yours so there are no consequences and you both feel free to give and take. 

A best friend or family member may or may not be on this particular team. Sometimes those too close to you might not have enough outside perspective. Or they may be great. Listen to your insides before you do, and make those choices wisely. 

RECHARGE

Anxiety can be managed. The efforts you make to do the above – becoming aware, accepting it and coming up with ways to act on it will empower you. But it’s also important to step away and recoup so you will have more when you step back. Doing that 2 step dance is the ticket. Think of other cultures where they work when they work, but take time to savor their meals, and take their days off to relax, and enjoy life. 

Recharging can come through small actions like a call with  a friend, or writing a note to a loved one ,. Take breaks at work. Fit humor into your life, get physical activity, ease up on alcohol and nicotine, and allow yourself enough rest (which needs to start rating as important as green tea or health shakes). Lastly, identify people who have interesting perspectives or approaches to things and find inspiration and ideas in their interviews, Ted talks, or audio books.

As an added bonus, all the work you do on yourself, will make you into a better leader benefiting your company, and your team.  You can even give these tools to your staff, by inviting your team to acknowledge the challenges they are facing in a safe way.  I’ll cover this topic in next month’s blog. 

If you are interested in having some additional support and encouragement, contact me and let’s talk!

This New Year Can STILL Be Your Best Yet!

Photo of 2 round loaves of bread on a table with flowers

Even in all the tumult and uncertainty, this new year can still be your best yet.  And those aren’t empty words. What we’ve all been through has its hidden blessings as well as its lessons. This time of year naturally inspires reflection on what has been, and what may lay ahead… That can seem daunting when so much is unknown. It’s hard to even count on what’s happening week to week!

In answer, I posted the first of a two-part Primer. Part one was November’s blog entitled The Time is Ripe for Getting Clear on Priorities. A few simple questions hone in on your true priorities – which may have changed or become clearer due to the challenges of the last 20 months. With those in mind, you establish just a few main achievable goals. Imagine the peace of mind that comes from narrowing it down, and getting clear.

In Part Two, the focus is on making intentional strides toward your goals and priorities, by quarter, month and day. We break it down into manageable bites. It works. You’ll spin your wheels a lot less and instead spend your valuable time and energy where it matters most to YOU. How amazing would that be. Are you in?

If you haven’t done the first part yet, visit November’s blog, then come back here to do Part Two! 

LIFE LIVED BY THE QUARTER

Begin by dividing the calendar year into four 3-month quarters. 

  •     Q1 January-March 
  •     Q2 April-June 
  •     Q3 July-Sept
  •     Q4 Oct-Nov

SIZE UP THE BIG PICTURE

Chose a 12-month calendar that works for you whether a big desktop calendar, a spreadsheet or a digital planning board like Trello or Infinity. It’s good to be able to see the year and quarters at a glance, if possible.

COLORIZE YOUR CATEGORIES

Then think of main categories that take time in your life, WORK, FAMILY/LOVE LIFE, SOCIAL, SPIRITUAL, HEALTH/EXERCISE, and any major PROJECT (from home reno to having a baby) or EVENTS (from concerts to trips). Assign colors to each, picking your favorite for Self Care.

Taking it quarter by quarter, begin to fill in, in the corresponding color:

  1.  WORK SCHEDULE –Start by filling in your work, plus vacation days, related events to create a framework. If you freelance, or pick up extra work as it comes, this is where planning only in 3 month chunks, or monthly/weekly really helps.
  1. MAJOR LIFE EVENTS – Add holidays, trips, weddings, taking kids to college, medical procedures, moving, renovation, having a baby, etc. Those are pretty solid and will make the time in-between stand out more.
  1. SELF CARE – A non-negotiable category! In the remaining white space, plug in Self Care every day. Some days it can be generous, others it might just be 10 minutes. And know you will keep each, like you would a doctor’s appointment or a trip to Italy! In other words, this a priority, and frankly, what makes all the rest work.
  2. SOCIAL – Yes this comes after Self Care, but can be part of it too. This is anything you do regularly, like a book club, lessons, church or volunteer work, which goes into the calendar to work around. If it conflicts with your self care, consider if you’ve committed to too much, or what can be worked around. Save things like concerts or dinner with friends for when they crop up. 

All the rest you fill in by week, day and hour as it comes up during each quarter. But the framework of the most important things are what remain solid, to work around (give or take a social commitment that may change). Reviewing the next quarter every few months gives you great flexibility to roll with the unexpected and keep living the life you want with intention and awareness. 

PRE-QUARTER REVIEW 

PLAN THE COMING QUARTER – Now this is key. The quarter closest in time can be the easiest to foresee in more detail. So a month out from the next quarter, schedule in a half hour to review the quarter you’re in and sketch out the coming quarter. Bring forward anything that is really important. Ask yourself with each thing you put on the calendar, is this a priority, is this within what I value, is this taking me toward my goals. 

Not every dentist appointment or garbage night has to fit that. And each day, recommit to scheduling in self-care.

ADD A LITLE PADDING – Just like we may pad a budget to handle any mishaps, build in a little open time to each week or month for the unexpected to crop up by not overbooking yourself. BONUS: This calendar set up will make it very easy for you to get back on track.

Congratulations on doing amazing work! Whatever you put in writing sets you on a course where you’ll naturally make decisions based on the work you’re doing now, even if you don’t refer to the calendar religiously. Why? Because it plants a seed in you based on your authentic intentions and what you truly value. You will inherently make choices toward that and 12 months from now you’ll see that you still walked the path you set out now. 

This new year can still be your best yet! Welcome a fresh new year as much as a fresh new you. What means most to you will be you top of mind, and the overwhelm of life will be exchanged for very manageable bite size pieces, with the flexibility to handle the unexpected.

The pandemic did us a service by showing us what really matters.  Don’t let that slip away.

If you want support for your planning process, I am happy to help!  Let’s talk and see what what is possible for you.

Survive the Great Resignation by Looking Within

An unprecedented number of workers are quitting – but what if you aren’t?  Survive the Great Resignation by looking within to find grounding and purpose amid the change.

We don’t hear much about those at the helm (from global companies to small businesses), those who lead teams, or staff who stay in their positions. This blog is for you. 

The Great Resignation is Real

The headlines are splashed with what is being called the Great Resignation. A Microsoft study has concluded that 40% of the global workforce is considering leaving their jobs this year. The Harvard Business Review points to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics report that 4 million Americans quit their jobs in July 2021 alone. All seek remote work, better pay and benefits, more flexible hours, often with value-driven companies, in an environment that fits their level of safety. Some want their own small business, others are flat out retiring.

The pandemic gave many time to reflect on what matters most to them and how they spend their time. But company owners and leaders may have been forced to focus on keeping afloat in incredible uncertainty. And that’s a recipe for burn out, which may be being felt even more now with the break in the most recent surge.  

You may have decided to stay put, for good reasons. But how do you process how all this has affected you personally? 

Looking Within

Because so much is changing externally, it’s causing internal changes. This is a golden opportunity to look at how you can transform just pushing through every day into something interesting and fulfilling — even invigorating! It’s a time to redesign your definition of success.   

I invite you to contemplate this, and view it as developing a new, very important professional skill. Because it is. Inc.com put it well: “Instead of chasing an antidote to burnout, we need to incorporate well-being and recharging practices into our work and our lives.” 

Everything is really driven by what you value – the rightness you feel about what you’re doing or what feels off when it’s not. And we can’t fit that bill 100% of the time, but our big picture view can certainly make it all work. 

What to Ask Yourself:

1. Have my values changed or deepened?

  • Are those being reflected in the work you are doing?
  • If so, how? In what ways does it present each day?
  • If they’re not, how does it impact you? Can you see ways to bring more meaning into what you’re doing? 

2. How can I change my sense of purpose?

  •  Try on new ways to look at it. A new perspective can be as true as an old one.
  • In August’s blog, I wrote that you are playing a part in a historic change that will set the standard for how businesses run for the next generation! How’s that for perspective? Can you find a fresh or energizing way to embrace that purpose, rather than see it as daunting?
  • Look at what your work asks of you to be considered a success. Then really look deeper at what YOU consider being a success within that. How big is the distance? And what can you do to narrow it?

3. What can I incorporate on a daily basis to sustain me? 

  • What are the triggers that most cause you to stress or feel overloaded? If you can learn to identify those, you can begin to be aware when they happen.
  • Prepare for those by listing way to reset your work habits and flow when things get too jammed up. Where can you fit stress reducing techniques in real time? Plan how to try them out.
  • Write up how you’d onboard a new employee in this new, changing environment. That can open up new avenues for you to find purpose in your own work, and aid you as you work with others.

If you go by your own value fulfillment, you will experience more daily passion and purpose and less burn out. Not only you, but everyone around you, will benefit. That’s potent motivation. 

What if  you’ve looked within but are still unsure how to meet what’s being asked of you with courage, skill and cool?

If you want a partner in this, please reach out to me! Helping people explore this is what I do best.

And why not sign up for my inspirational monthly newsletter?  You’ll receive my newest blog, written on timely, relevant topics, and resources to inspire, feed your spirit, and fill your well – the ultimate in working toward work/life balance.

Thresholds—Leaving Nonprofit Life with Courage and Grace

Leaving nonprofit life with courage and grace requires the proper tools, planning and support. How do you effectively prepare to depart as the leader you’ve always been?

The last 18 months has seen people rethinking what means the most to them and what they are doing with their time. Since the majority of our waking hours is spent on work, it’s among the first to be reviewed.  But for those whom retirement had already been on the horizon, say in the next 1- 5 + years, the pandemic may have provided extra impetus to determine that now is the time to begin the process.

When you consider all that’s involved to leave a fulfilling non-profit life, you may find yourself in confusing waters. How do you sort it all, from getting a clear snapshot of where your staff, board and the organization is, to mapping effective actions in the right timing as you walk toward leaving, to creating a stellar legacy.

Wouldn’t it be invaluable to have an opportunity to share, with a discreet/private, small group of peers, both the joys and anxieties of leaving your work as you walk through an assessment of what’s needed, and work out a plan to leave well?

I co-lead a cohort experience that offers just that, along with Nancy Jackson of EOS Transitions to learn about effective practices to prepare for a legacy well attained, considering the well being of your staff and board.

The experience includes:
• Two-hour virtual sessions over five weeks, for a total of 8-10 hours
• Between-session reading and assignments to amplify the learning and virtual experience
• Confidential participation (Public awareness of your approaching departure is certainly not necessary)
• The Thresholds experience is limited to a cohort of 8-10 peers experiencing the same stage of nonprofit life

The next cohort starts on September 30, but we are planning the next session soon after based on need. Simply contact us and let us know of your interest!

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Leaving nonprofit life with courage and grace sets you on the course to what’s next with grounding. Whether you’re planning to travel, spend time with your extended family, volunteer, create a new business, or pursue personal goals and hobbies, you can enjoy it with peace of mind after a successful retirement.

We’ve gotten really wonderful feedback from the executives who we’ve worked with. Why not let that be that also be you!

Read more about the Thresholds cohort experience and feel free to contact us with any questions.