Ok, you are good at what you do. You have the knowledge, beliefs and intuition to boot. You have some history of success and a few trophies to prove it. Yes, you get it and you know how to do it. So what do you do when your company (or a person in your life) is going down a road bringing you further away rather than closer to your destination?
A client tells me she doesn’t feel good. Her company decided to implement a strategy that represents a bandage not a complete solution to a problem. This “problem” has been losing the company money and the “bandage” will cost the company even more money and a significant amount of time. She says that she knows a better way, one which is clear and logical. She says her way is not an ego thing, it’s a game plan based on her previous experiences being a VP of a publicly traded company and several successful startup and high growth business ventures. She (and her team) was responsible for the success of several projects that previously had been failing and are now highly successful. The issue now is the Chairman and President are leading the way, playing not to lose. This new plan doesn’t fit the company’s identity and core values. She feels alone and asked me what she should do. I told her it doesn’t matter what I think she should do. What matters is what she believes and how important it is for her to do something about it.
So there you are, at a fork in the road. You can take a left, which is the do nothing/ say nothing route or you can take a right which is the follow me/ let me show you route. Which way do you go? Is it time to put your experience and everything you know to work or do you do nothing and go with the flow? A lot has to do with your environment, where you are now in life and how the people around you will be affected. Do you believe in yourself? Do you still believe you know what you know? Are you willing to take risk and the possible consequences? I would love to know.
Let’s assume you are in the same position. Your boss/company or significant person set sail and is headed in the wrong direction. Let us also assume your team leader has positive intentions. He has a game plan and believes it will be successful. The people closest to him have already started rowing in that direction and you know it’s the wrong way. What do you do? Do you risk being singled out and labeled not a team player or even worse? I witness this type of situation often and have been in similar situations. Life taught me every situation is different as is every snow flake.
So what do you do? Do you take a left or a right? The first question is how would you feel if you did nothing? The next question is how would you feel if you did something? Which feels better and which serves your environment and the people around you best? You might consider testing what it might be like if you did one and then the other. You could imagine what the possible outcomes might be and compare and notice what feels right. You may also consider which path is congruent to your belief system and values. Some of us cannot work in an environment that doesn’t serve our values. If honesty is high on your values, you may consider sharing your thoughts with your boss/team. Maybe you value team work and knowing your entire team wants to go a certain way and you may be ok with it.
How do we know what to do? Could not knowing be a valuable resource? Maybe not knowing keeps us on our toes and pushes us outside our comfort zone. What do you think?
Enjoy the ride!
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Robert Paulson is an international executive + leadership coach and can be reached at Info@RobertPaulson.coach