Imagine that your life as a leader is like taking an expedition across a vast, awesome and never ending mountain range.
You journey across all types of terrain and weather, with constant changes to the Expedition team and goals. Sometimes the expedition is incredibly inspiring, sometimes terrifying, often laborious but always continuing – through all seasons.
You know that many challenges and opportunities will arise, many you have experienced before. Other not previously encountered challenges can help you learn and grow.
Over the past decade organisations around the world have experienced what appeared a never ending, often inspiring, but hard working ascent up an incredible mountain. The higher and harder you climbed, the better the views, the better rewards … if you kept doing what you’d been doing, success would ensue.
In 2008, and well into 2009, many leaders and their organisations rapidly realised that they had reached the peak of this huge global Everest … the epic rise of the markets.
In these times ….
- Some organisations will grow.
- Some will struggle.
…. Few will be unaffected in any way.
My Observations …
During the ascent of this huge mountain, I noticed some organisations, across many industries, often stopped to reflect that:
1. Their ecosystem would not remain constant – “we have to be ready for change”
2. Their organisations were extremely complex and siloed – “we need a clear purpose, picture or story”
3. The way they worked was not sustainable – “we are too busy to properly engage, focus or collaborate”
Time for Choice …
Any mountain climber will tell you that the descent is far more dangerous than the ascent.
It is also a truism that future and sustained success, no matter what you are dealing with in life, is often founded from challenging times.
Therefore, I think the descent is where the real opportunity lies.
The Opportunities …
The biggest opportunity on the descent is to address everything you wanted to do on the way up – using the way down (in this case it’s the global fall of the markets) to provide the context for change.
The descent becomes a seamless part of the on-going Expedition story that makes the organisation stronger and more resilient.
This is the time that you can:
· Continue succeeding as an expedition (achieve results)
· Learn from past challenges and achievements (improved approach)
· Embrace emerging scenarios (increased flexibility)
· Prepare for the next major ascent (prioritized decisions)
· Align and focus your team (engaged people)
Six Simple Tips …
Tip 1. Keep perspective
· Be balanced in your views – research both the good and bad news
· Share this balance with others – this helps focus
Tip 2. Remember the Basics
· Always think about what you are doing, why you are doing it, where you are going and how you’re going to get there
Tip 3. Focus on your strengths
· Learn from why you have done so well in the past
· Know you strengths and what gives you belief, energy and spirit
Tip 4. Constantly Align, Engage and Focus your team
· Provide people with focus and clarity
Tip 5. Work together
· Use authentic collaboration to achieve sustainable and faster results
Tip 6. Know Your Motivation
· Constantly ask yourself why you are passionate about your journey
On the way down there will be major achievements, well worn paths to roam but also difficult crevasses to cross.
But that was also the case on the way up.
It is how you think and behave that will make the difference.
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