Pivot: From ___ To ___
Your state of mind may be blocking your momentum toward a better future.
Many business leaders were not prepared for an external threat that results in a forced shutdown or significant and sudden loss of customers. As a leader, what you do next can greatly influence your own well-being and that of so many more—in your workplace, suppliers and vendors, community, other stakeholders and beyond such as those who serve who you serve. It’s the ripple effect of your words and actions.
What you say and do is driven by what you believe, and by your mindset. While beliefs take some time to change, you can shift your mindset at any moment.
You are in complete control… of your mindset.
Imagine how you influence other’s words and actions. You have an opportunity to set the context for positive mindsets. And that—that orchestration of many shifts by many people—is The Pivot. This way of orchestrating change is not a one-time initiative, it’s a habit.
At times when you feel that you are not in control, and that can be quite uncomfortable. You know that to grow you must step out of comfort. Growth is what I usually focus on as I coach leaders. But right now, I want to get you back to sanity—to some level of comfort—so that you can be the best leader for all those who are looking to you to be a positive influence for them. I am asking you to pause and consider your mindset or state of mind. Is it negative or positive right now? Is it serving you and others or is it not? Is it keeping you stuck or moving you forward?
Negative emotions—especially if held and reinforced through repetition—can seriously mess with your well-being. And there are a few in particular that are inhibiting an ability to lead during this crisis: Entitlement, Victim mentality, and Apathy.
Feeling entitled is similar to seeking to blame someone or something outside; it weakens your resilience, insight, and ability to lead with positive influence. Feeling a victim can be even more debilitating to your effectiveness as a leader; you are sending a message that blaming others as an excuse for not stepping up to the challenge in whatever way you can. Taking no action, being apathetic, puts you at odds of your role as the steward of your business, and it’s well-being. If your state of mind involves any of these three, you are not maintaining
whatever momentum might be possible for your business. You might be frozen.
In a recent interview by Jason Zweig of the Wall Street Journal, Charlie Munger (now 96 and seemingly as clear-minded as ever!), replied this way when asked if their (Berkshire Hathaway) phone was ringing with “…corporate executives…begging for capital”…
“No, they aren’t,” said Mr. Munger. “The typical reaction is that people are frozen…They’ve never seen anything like it. Their playbook does not have this as a possibility.”
Being nimble is required for momentum in your business, and your life. The only way to not get stuck, at least not for very long, is to be nimble.
When you are nimble, you rarely get blocked or stuck. If you do—by something, someone, or your own thoughts—you have what it takes to move around, over, under or through.
This nimbleness includes a personal ability to pivot your state of mind from negatively stuck to positively productive. So, step up, be the leader you are, and do these three things:
- Give yourself a break; let the past go. Stop kicking yourself about your initial reaction (or inaction), even if that lasted for several weeks. Let that go.
- Pivot now to a different mindset and better leadership. To do so, first assess the state you are in. Then choose what state you want to be in: “From ____ To _____.” Once you get the hang of this, you’ll be able to shift your state of mind to more positive levels, step by step, very quickly. (I am calm and happy. But I’m not in those states every second of every day! I choose to live in a positive state of mind—it’s the only way I can create, serve, and be well. I’ve learned how to shift away from a negative state quite quickly. I’m not perfect! I get triggered by unnecessary hoops and being misunderstood. At the start of this at-home time, as business fell away, I felt I was in slow motion, with concern for people and that I might be missing a step or not be available as needed).
- Check your mindset before you say or do anything. It may help you to learn your triggers. You can look inside, and you can ask others who know you well. For example, do you tend to compare your situation to what you perceive is happening to/for others? Does lack of fairness drive you nuts? Or promises that were not kept? Or the deal changing after it’s agreed to? Or technology glitches that seem to block your every move and deplete the precious time you have? Or incentives that cause actions to run counter to stated intentions? Or… (you get it—these are a few aspects of “relief” and “PPP” that are triggering negative mindsets in business leaders today)
Allow me to share something that helped me shift out of my almost-stall. I Pivoted From “what PPP was triggering in me (see #3)” To “my own PPP” defined this way:
- P = Perspective. Am I looking at this in a way that serves my well-being and the health of my business and all stakeholders?
- Pp = Patient Persistence. Am I staying aware, paying attention where that’s needed, while also still leading the way forward, with intention?
- P = Power. When I am being, doing, or saying this, am I in my power (moving forward on my agenda) or am I giving my power to someone else?
I would love to know what your own PPP Pivot might be!