Some see retreat as a failure. Others see it as a strategic win. How do you view retreating?
Pulling away from something is not a failure in itself. It can be the best answer to a situation that is not working for you. Some have a hard and fast view of retreating – you can find many quotes that say “never retreat”. What if you realize you are going in a wrong direction? What if you are up against a no-win situation? Are you supposed to keep going until you drop, just for the sake of never giving up?
Not necessarily. You are supposed to make the best of every situation you are in. Sometimes, retreating is the best course. Temporarily retreating allows you to rethink and regroup. Retreating for good lets you put your energies to something that will pay off for you.
Deciding when to retreat is a serious undertaking. It requires your discernment and strategic skill. You do not need a ban on retreating. Instead, you need the ability to perceive when it is the right time to retreat.
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There are times when you are stretched. You may be taking on a new project, facing a challenge or reaching for the next level in your career. To get where you want to be, you may have to build yourself up.
Do you know what builds you up? Perhaps it is knowledge, support from others, staying in balance or having courage. The next time a challenge presents itself, know what builds you up, employ it and you will soar!
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Is there something you could do each day in August to create a positive transformation? What you do can be big or small, easy or difficult – what matters is that you transform an aspect of your life or work by taking one step toward the transformation every day this month.
You may, for example, want to be more organized in your work. Each day you could do something towards that aim – declutter, organize or change a perspective you have. By the end of the month, the result can be that you are there – much more organized than when you started the month. Or, you could focus on transforming your interrelationships at work, creating more balance in your life or building a specific skill.
Will you take this on? Vision the end of this month and how good you may feel having met this challenge. As you begin your challenge, feel free to e mail me and I will hold your intention and cheer you on. You can do this!
Sometimes it is not easy to say “yes”. Doing so may involve challenge, stretching, being uncomfortable or overcoming fear. In your career, a yes that involves these things can advance you by moving you out of your comfort zone into your “growth zone”.
How about saying yes more often to experiences that improve your skills and boost your career? Is there anything worth a “yes” in front of you right now?
A quickening is something that compels you to move faster. A quickening can be caused by many things – a person that challenges you, a sudden insight that motivates you, a disappointment that closes a door, an experience that compels you to move forward. You can say yes or no to a quickening. It is your choice. You can opt out of it or accept its challenge.
In my experience, quickenings are often positive occurrences even when they are uncomfortable at first. Have you experienced any quickenings in your life or career? How did they go? Learn to recognize quickenings and make the most of them.
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There are a variety of indicators that it is time to think something out again. Perhaps circumstances have changed, you have altered your perspective or something new is affecting a situation. Regrouping is simply addressing something from the present moment, rather than from the past or future, and deciding on a new course of action.
Ignore change at your peril. Regrouping is done easily – with your eyes open, brain engaged and senses alert. Are there any indicators that regrouping is called for in your life or work? Is something asking for your attention? Are you resisting acknowledging a change that has occurred? Regrouping puts you back in control and allows you move forward.
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Periodically challenging yourself builds your leadership skills, creativity and self-confidence. Here are some ways you can challenge yourself in the next month. Give it a try – you can do it!
1. Try a new technique in your managing.
2. Tackle something you are afraid of doing by taking one step forward.
3. Ask your team and co workers for an informal 360 performance review.
4. Speak your truth in a situation that matters to you.
5. Say no to something.
6. Observe yourself for a day and identify what needs changing.
7. Repair a worthwhile relationship that has been damaged.
8. Read a book that adds to your knowledge base about managing.
9. Commit to make one positive and radical change in your life by the end of the year.
10. Create something you never thought you could.
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Sometimes you face challenges that initially seem insurmountable. How do you get to the place where you are ready to say, “I can do this”? It is not always easy.
To get there, build your belief in yourself. It is not always about being able to do the impossible when others ask for it. It is more about your ability to see a situation clearly, analyze what’s possible and determine what is that you and your team can do. Sometimes your hesitancy in saying “I can do this” is rooted in fear, a lack of information or uncertainty. In that case, don’t stop. Investigate and assess the situation. The key here as well, is to build your confidence and belief in yourself. Don’t underestimate your abilities or those of your team. Be ready to grow and stretch, if you need to.
Saying “I can do this” is a must for succeeding in management. But, in different situations, this statement has different meanings. Stay positive and out of fear, believe in yourself, keep a clear head and more often than not, you’ll be saying, “I can do this”.
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Sometimes you can be in a situation that is too much, but still continue and try to handle it. When something is too heavy, it’s best to acknowledge it and figure out your best next steps. What do I mean by “too heavy”. We all reach for the best in our lives and that doesn’t change. It’s just that, at times, things we want to do or that others want us to do, are not working out and could end up harming us.
Examples of “too heavy” are: when a change you want to make has strong opposition and you do not have the power in the organization to counter it; when you are expecting way too much of yourself or stretching yourself too thin; when your expectations are unrealistic, considering the environment you want to reach them in or when you don’t have what you need to get something done.
Find ways to recognize when something is too heavy and you have to put it down for a while. You don’t have to give up, but you may have to re-strategize to get where you want to go. Having a lighter load will help you to do that.
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Is there something beckoning you that would be a stretch to pursue? Sometimes opportunity calls quietly; sometimes it calls louder and louder. To respond effectively, you need to have confidence. Confidence is belief in your ability to handle challenges and to grow.
Take a moment to consider if there is something worthwhile beckoning you now. It could be a new opportunity, the chance to improve a skill or the opportunity to innovate. How are you responding?
Do you have the confidence to go for it? Sometimes you have to take a leap. You may not have all the elements you think you need to feel safe. If you analyze the opportunity carefully and assess your level of readiness, you can identify what you need to get in place and go for it. Sometimes, you may be doing these things after you take the leap. That’s okay. What’s most important is believing in yourself, making a commitment and knowing “I can do this!”.
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