Viktor Emil Frankl (who was a neurologist, psychiatrist, and Holocaust survivor) said: “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” To me, this quote says it all. There are many things that we cannot control, and worrying about them doesn’t help. But we can change ourselves, in order to be better prepared to capitalize on golden opportunities that will otherwise pass us by.
Especially with the pandemic, the future is uncertain and so are the fates of many executive leaders. But I know for certain that those executives who have recently been let go, demoted, or denied a promotion still have great chances at success. You just need to be adaptable to change, while you focus on controlling what is within your own power. I left my comfy role as a senior executive to launch my consulting business, and faced the headwinds of the Great Recession. But it was the best move of my entire career. What that kind of shift requires is a determined willingness to pivot beyond your comfort zone, following your personal and professional passion.“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” (Viktor Emil Frankl) Click To Tweet
Here are the five elements of my “Pivot Program,” which I’m now using with my private executive coaching clients. These are the keys to unlock a new phase of your leadership career, despite whatever challenges you currently face.
Clarify Your Purpose/Passion
The first place to focus is always within yourself. What is your true purpose and desire? What are you here to do? What inspires and ignites you? What are your uniquely special gifts and talents? Getting crystal clear around the answers to those powerful questions is how you will leverage the next phase of your career. I help my clients accomplish this by exploring all the possible pathways they can follow and then guiding them to make the choice that best aligns with who they really are and what they really want.
Amplify Your Confidence
But to take steps to reach those dreams requires profound confidence. You cannot thrive, especially on a new path, if self-doubt undermines your determination. You want to be able to assert yourself into the conversation to present your ideas in a persuasive way. Engage with others with executive gravitas and leadership presence to set yourself apart. Use influential language to articulate who you are and what you represent. Be strong in owning the value that you add, knowing that it is a value nobody else can duplicate. Convince others by empowering yourself with resonating self-conviction born from within.
Invigorate Your Brand
After you gain some clarity around what you want to do next, position your leadership brand to reflect your new direction. Leverage your confidence boldly, to engage in self-promotion that distinguishes you from the crowd. Update your CV and resume. Consider rolling out fresh marketing collateral with forward-thinking messaging. Fully embrace and broadcast your vision, whether it is to become your own boss or move into a more dynamic corporate role. Everyone has unique gifts, talents, backstories, and personal and professional experiences. Share and celebrate yours!
Map Out Your Plan
Identify your goal. Then map your journey forward by setting benchmarks that act as signposts along the way. Where do you need to be by the end of the quarter and start of next year? What resources and networking contacts can facilitate your progress? Which skills do you want to develop to position yourself as the strongest candidate? Who can impart those to you and keep you on track so you hit each milestone in stride? With that kind of detailed plan you will know exactly where you’re headed each step of the way.
Be Held Accountable
Working remotely we’ve all learned how hard it can be sometimes to stay motivated and keep our energy high. When pivoting into a new phase of leadership life you need to stay sharp, positive, productive, and on-task. That won’t happen if you go it alone. Find an experienced guide to help you think through the action steps, troubleshoot your plan, and keep you on track. You need a trusted success partner who believes in you but also holds you accountable to your mission. They are committed to the work of inspiring you, pushing you past your comfort zone, and then supporting you with knowledge, techniques, and strategy.
There isn’t a day that goes by that we don’t hear about another company going out of business, executives being downsized, or organizational rightsizing. Perhaps it’s time for you, too, to proactively, intentionally, and strategically reposition yourself. Many talented leaders are seeking and finding work in new industries or new and innovative ways of working. I’ve worked with many senior executives who have been let go from organizations but pivoted into other roles to find themselves much more fulfilled. You can follow many different paths to success, as long as you are willing to experience what’s available just beyond your status quo.
Sarah’s Acceleration Questions
To set things in motion, answer these questions for yourself:
- What leadership role do I dream of playing?
- What motivates and inspires me to lead?
- Where can my strongest talents be put to the best use?
- What is preventing me from pursuing that kind of position?
Once you identify and label what you want and what’s holding you back, you’ll be on your way to solving the challenges and achieving the desired outcome.
An experienced executive coach can play an invaluable role to keep you fueled with competitive high-productivity momentum. If you’d like to learn Sarah’s simple yet highly effective leadership and corporate DNA strategies, tips, and insights, sign up here to receive her newsletter. https://hathornconsultinggroup.com/subscribe/