Maybe you can relate to this: do you ever feel like you’re driving the car down the road while the car is still being built? As the leader of your team, you must set an example, so perhaps this article will help you keep up your morale and motivation––internally and externally.
Pause to consider. You may find these three little words help you encourage employees who are feeling the same pressures.
The second word may seem contradictory, but here is it. You must continue! But, continue what? You can continue with your mission, your work, your passion without making buggy whips when no one drives a buggy anymore. Step one just might lead you to accept that your current product or service isn’t needed anymore and that you need to find something new to do. For example, in my time both as Vice President at IRMI and as VP at FAIA, we had to transition published materials from print books or manual to CDs and later to digital formats. This is old news today, but finding a new way to present the valuable technical information to our customers was a cultural shift that did not come easily to us or our customers. We had to continue our journey on a new path.
As long as you know that what you are doing is moving into the future, you can press on. In other words, don’t give up!
Many time the challenge of moving forward is more difficult when you can’t see the end yet. Long-range planning experts these days do a lot with a 2-year plan and leave the 5-year versions to bullet points. We know things go so fast that we will deal in 5 years with things that aren’t even on the drawing board today, much less invented and in production. For you Star Trek fans, think about this: we spent 40 years fantasizing about replicators. And now, the 3D printers are making that a reality over just the last couple of years. When Twitter was barely 4 years old, they already had tens of millions of subscribers. Speed is not always better, but it’s always a factor.
There are days when we feel as though the light at the end of the tunnel must surely be an oncoming train. How did it all start moving so fast? Some sage advice was given to me once that I’m happy to share: just try one new thing at a time. For some, the first challenge is still all this technology around us, which changes so fast. Think about this fact from www.businessinsider.com: There are approximately 310 million people in the United States. Of these people, approximately 250 million are over the age of 14. According to ComScore, about 235 million of these Americans use mobile devices.
Plus, some change isn’t about technology. For example, even the idea of a retirement which is years away could stop some folks in their tracks. That type of planning is years in the making, and is a case where resistance to change, and the ensuing lack of action, can cause real problems in a person’s future. The fact that you must continue with the mission remains true.
Miss Part 1? Check it out now.
Lisa Harrington is vice president of IRMI, and is responsible for all aspects of marketing, conference management, client services and sales. Previous engagements include COO and acting CEO of the Network of Vertafore Users (NetVU), and over 10 years as vice president of education for the Florida Association of Insurance Agents. She has more than 30 years of experience in the American Agency System as a leader, author, and trainer. Ms. Harrington resides in Southlake, Texas with her husband and many four-legged loved ones.
For more information about Lisa’s book, Taking In Strays: Leadership Lessons from Unexpected Places, please visit www.TakingInStrays.com.