The pathway to your greatest potential is often straight through your greatest fear.
We are in a high growth phase right now at Dotted Line. The demands of our current account expansion are weighing on many components of the business and our team. We are all having to lean into the work for our clients in new ways and stretch ourselves.
But adjusting to new norms and unprecedented growth is nothing new to me. Several years ago, my husband, Shawn and I decided to move out of our townhouse into a more spacious, family-friendly home all while I was 7 months pregnant. We were trying to prepare for the baby’s due date, coordinate all the move logistics, and juggle our multiple businesses and family needs. Plus, the last stretch of pregnancy is emotionally and physically tiring. It was a stressful season for sure. We knew where we ultimately needed to be — in our new home before the baby’s arrival with our sanity still intact. But there were many moving pieces we were trying to manage through the process.
During seasons of uncertainty, I find it easy to get caught up focusing on the things immediately in front of me. Famous Navy Seal, Jocko Willink shares in his book, Leadership Strategy and Tactics, how he grew to create distance, both mentally and physically, before high-stakes military missions to gain the appropriate amount of perspective. He shares “I made it my goal to never be completely caught up in minuscule tactical aspects of a problem; my goal was to get a higher mental and physical altitude to see more…The more often I detached, the easier it became to see and understand the tactical picture, and the better I got.” Being intentional about creating a certain level of distance in complex situations helps me to see the way forward more clearly.
This week, I am asking myself… how can I get above a challenging situation?
Make room for margin
When the future is uncertain, we are often our most vulnerable. A good friend and mentor once shared with me how important it is to give yourself twice as much space as you’d typically need in times of high stress. It seems counterintuitive when you think about it but creating lots of margin across multiple areas of your life provides space to be more prepared for opportunities and challenges that come your way. If I make a wrong move, I have the ability to quickly cover. The margin might be in terms of time, investments, a financial situation, or capacity to remain mentally flexible.
Are there ways in which I can create space within the demands of an assignment? Or with my schedule and time?
Keep things simple
Have you ever heard the saying, “you eat a giant elephant by taking one small bite at a time?” When faced with a complex problem, keeping it simple and breaking it up into manageable, bite-sized pieces can help provide the guidance to move forward. For me, journaling, meditating or talking through how to simplify a situation are mechanisms to get to the bite-sized pieces.
When faced with an elephant, how can I simplify and create bite-sized pieces?
As a new leader, it can be easy to get caught up in trying to do our best, making the right moves at the right time. Creating distance, making room for margin, and keeping things simple are small, tactical steps that can create a huge impact in our lives. As I continue through the rest of this week, I am thinking about how I can put these steps into practice to grow my abilities with focus and clarity.