I often work with companies who are going through difficult transitions. Maybe they are changing leadership or establishing a new important position. Perhaps they are recovering from a poor year of performance or just moving on from one strategic plan to another. No matter what the reason, transition or change of any king is challenging.
As leaders, we all deal with change and transition. If you do not deal with it, you can be sure it will deal with you. You must constantly challenge the status quo. Once you enter any kind of comfort zone you are in danger. In my new book, I say that you must Beware of Alligators and Ugly Stuff!
What does this mean? You can read the book to find out more, but one of the meanings for sure is to always be thinking about how you can improve? The comfort zone is often where the Alligators and Ugly Stuff lurk. Maybe they just throw you off track or at worst they could just eat you right up.
Are you in a time of change or transition in your life? At work? Do you wonder some kind of transition is coming in your near future (News Flash: YES!)?
Here are Three Questions to Ask Yourself When in Transition:
- What is Right? What is right in your life, your business/career? Really this means what is working well? Too often people think negative first when really, most of their life is pretty good. You should be able to fill up a whole sheet of paper or more with all of the things right in your life. If you can’t do that, then take a lot at your environment. Find some quiet time to reflect on the question. You have a lot going for you. Be sure to recognize that first/.
- What is Wrong? Once you have spent ample time thinking about what is right, you then have to think through the wrong. The answers to this question are the things that maybe you have less control over. They are not complaints. They are simply things that are not going well and maybe you would like to change. Make a list of these answers as well. Compare them to the answers to the first question.
- What is Missing? This is perhaps the most important question as reflecting on it and coming up with someone answers could help move you forward to whatever is next for you. Some people confuse this question with the second one. Remember this is what is missing? It may not be something that is terrible. Often is actually relates to your answers to question one, what is right more so than question two. Maybe you wrote that your relationship with your spouse is something in your life that is right, but under what is missing you list that you would like them to be more direct with you. The first question was not what is perfect, all of what you listed can be improved.
Invest some real time reflecting on these three questions. It will be difficult, but the quiet time alone will help you. Ideally, you will answer the questions in writing, maybe as a journaling exercise. Be prepared to chat with someone in your life that you trust about your answers. Perhaps they can help you make sense of the answers.
Be sure that when you answer the questions, you prepare yourself to take some kind of action upon completion. Again it could be talking with someone, moving forward with some a change, investing in a coach, etc.
Remember that these questions are just one step in your transition from moving from where you are now to wherever it is you want to go in the future. The questions are not the answer, but they will help you find answers.
Change and transition is always difficult, but it is also extremely necessary for personal and professional growth. The price of growth really is the pain of change. Good luck on your journey.