I’ve failed many times during my career.
Leading change is challenging. Even the best prepared Chief Executive can be deeply challenged during a period of dramatic change. Sure there are structures and templates and models that you can follow. Yes, there are plenty of people to give you advice (both good and bad). You do your risk assessment and assess the pros and cons; but, at that moment of truth it is ultimately you who makes that crucial decision.
I’ve had my share of successes that I can hang my hat on…those times when the organization hums along like a well-oiled machine. Those are the times we feel that sense of pride, satisfaction, and gratification that keeps us doing what we do. But there are times when things come unraveled.
What Keeps You Up At Night
In the perfect world, we would have just one crucial decision to make at a time; but as we know, this is often not the case. There are moments when we feel like the world is spinning out of control as you are inundated with brush-fires, interruptions, multiple agendas, incompetence, inexperience, out-dated systems, and inadequate software. You remind yourself “this is what you are here for”; these are the reasons you are undergoing this period of change…to bring stability and growth to your organization. And, this is what keeps you up at night.
Sure, there are many CYA (“cover your ass” for the uninitiated) maneuvers available to you: form a committee and deflect the responsibility, or delay the decision to do more research to justify a decision. Unless you have the luxury of time, each of these options will delay the decision. You can’t allow yourself to be shackled by ‘analysis paralysis’. Do your due diligence, complete your research, and collect the facts available to you. Its decision time…and as the Chief Executive it’s your call.
When the “Glue” Comes “Unglued”
When you’re faced with a tough call, it’s often difficult to find the ‘head-space’ to think through the ramifications of the decision through properly. On a number of occasions I’ve jokingly said, “my brain is full”. The distractions are many. You may be dealing with the ramifications of a Board divided about the direction of the organization, or about you personally. There may be friction and pushback from staff as you restructure workloads, roles, and responsibilities; sometimes you may deal with outright mutiny. There are times when a minor mistake impacts a major stakeholder or influential member of the organization; which ultimately consumes your days as you repair the damage.
It’s been said that a passionate Chief Executive is the glue that holds it all together. You are the cohesive force between the Board of Directors, membership (or clients), staff, and stakeholders. In a successful growing organization the Chief Executive is the driving force. But in that centrifugal position, what happens when the pull from all those forces is too great? What happens when all those forces push back and put you in a crunch? What happens when the “glue” comes “un-glued”?
This Is When I Failed
During my career, it is at this point that I have failed. It takes a tremendous amount of energy to reassemble an organization that begins to spin out of control. If one of those forces spins out of balance, you simply invest the time to bring it back on track. However, when multiple forces get off track, the time and energy to reassemble those pieces may simply be too overwhelming. It is at this time that I’ve run out of gas…and have failed…simply because I ran out of steam. At these times I may have failed to communicate properly. I didn’t follow through on a crucial task. I took a risk, that in hindsight, I shouldn’t have taken. Or I just mentally (or physically) did not have the time to properly address it…and it came back to bite me.
Take Steps To Build Your Mental Toughness
In an article written by Justin Bariso (@JustinJBariso), “An FBI Agent's 5 Steps to Developing Mental Toughness”, Bariso outlines 5 steps to staying at the top of your game. You can maintain mental toughness through emotional awareness, knowing your limits, mental discipline, focus, and a dedication to the pursuit of personal growth.
As the Chief Executive leading a change environment, you need to be at the top of your game to lead your team to successfully achieve your organization’s goals. Take care of yourself…don’t let your tank run dry before you reach your destination of success.
Find out how Weldon can help you stay at the top of your game…click here