Congratulations to those of you who understand the value of setting goals and creating action plans and timetables to inspire and guide you as you work to put your plans in motion. Note to self— recognize that in addition to working hard, you must also create conditions in your life that promote and nurture success.
The most successful among us eventually develop what some call “enlightened self-interest” that encourages us to acknowledge our priorities and maintain boundaries in our personal and professional spheres. Some in your circle may become indignant when forced to honor your boundaries, but you’ll come to know who your friends are and who are not. Consider the process a character development and leadership lesson.
I. Just say no
If you prefer not to make a certain commitment, then respectfully decline. Perhaps you already have many irons in the fire and your schedule is filled. Maybe you’d rather take it easy for a while, to rest and refresh your energy reserves.
If the timing is wrong or if something you’re asked to do doesn’t feel right, you are not obligated to participate. Those who have vowed to sweet-talk (or arm-twist) you into such an arrangement may become upset, but do not be swayed by those who would resort to manipulation or even bullying. You are in the driver’s seat of your life.
II. Define boundaries
Everyone likes to be liked. We feel good when we help others and make them happy. But the price of acceptance will never hinge upon the “right” of others to control your life. If you feel pressured by certain individuals, recognize that feeling as a sign that your boundaries are being violated.
Someone is attempting to “cross a line” and does not know his/her place, or role, even if that individual is a parent or sibling. No one has a “right” to violate boundaries. Politely but firmly push back and do not allow yourself to be bullied. If the violator persists, well, now you know who loves and respects you and who doesn’t. Assess how you can limit, or cease, your interactions with such people.
III. Ask for it
What do you want? The sale? The assignment? Your team to work at 110% capacity? If you want it, then ask for it!
You must also be prepared to earn it, to demonstrate that you deserve the reward. If you expect your team to work at 110%, then you must work at least that hard, or more so. If you want the sale or the contract, then show the client why you deserve it and how hard you’ll work to earn it and then fulfill or exceed all expectations when it is awarded to you.
IV. Release the negative
Mistakes are made and bad things sometimes happen. As a result, you may feel hurt or resentful. If you feel the need to go there, give yourself permission to wallow in those feelings for a while, because you are human. However, you cannot allow yourself to remain stuck in the quicksand of negative feelings. At some point you must take a deep breath and let it go, as you step forward toward your vision of a successful future. You have goals and an action plan to help you reach them. Let that propel you out of the muck of resentment. Success is the best revenge.
V. Walk, don’t run
OK, you’re on a roll, you have plans and a timetable, you want to get things done. You may not feel that patience is a virtue and explaining things twice to your team members or other supporters could seem like an aggravation. Before you travel too far down that road, stop; breathe. Look at the big picture.
Remember that an ounce of prevention is worth many pounds of cure. Avoid cutting corners. Do not get slap-dash. Make sure that your execution is accurate and that you are moving in a direction that will bring about the desired outcomes. Invest some time to get the buy-in of key stakeholders. You will be successful if you allow success to happen!
Thanks for reading,