Staying focused on the positive

As a leader, your team depend on you to keep your cool, stay focused, be positive and ooze strength; so how do you do it? I might have found my answer...

Our business, over thirteen years old, totally reinvented itself this past August, and now finds itself in a startup phase of chaos (and rocket fuel).

Positive processes are being developed at the speed of knots whilst we gently play at the super fine balance of resource vs. personnel vs. cash flow. Teams have, out of necessity,  become multi-skilled machines, sometimes manic, seldom calm. As a leader, your team depend on you to keep your cool, stay focused, ooze positivity; none of which is easy when chaos ensues. So how do you do it? I might have found my answer.

When I first started working I practiced a mantra which, while I don’t remember the source, acts as my yardstick for staying focused: “do what you love to do, in a way you love to do it, with people you love doing it with.” Having had many opportunities to ponder this sentence at various stages of my career, it seems such a logical way to unplug the conundrum of staying focused when your company is in a disorganised state. Here’s what I’m thinking:

3 Ways to stay focused when your company is in chaos mode:

  1. Do what you love: There is something supremely fundamental to #happywork. It goes beyond the need for personal gratification, accountability, a sense of accomplishment and acknowledgement. It surpasses boundaries created by work conditions, flexibility, remuneration and even leadership. Don’t get me wrong, these things are important to your team’s performance but it’s simpler than that I think. To be happy at work, at it’s absolute bare-bones core is with actually liking the work you do. Where at the end of a super challenging week you can still look back, breathe and know deeply that despite the logistical hurdles, bad comms, low budgets and constant ping-pong-juggle you actually contributed to your company’s greatness and personal wellbeing. Exhale.
  2. In a way you love to do it: If chaos is merely a state of mind, something we create out of expectation, social norm and the deep need to feel like we belong, then working authentically brings about a state of calm, a cool confidence that what you are pursuing, albeit in a haphazard zig-zag sort of way, is the right way, well for you in any case. As a leader it’s important to check in with yourself from time to time, despite the perceptions of others, and ask: “does this decision/action/request feel right for me?” and if it does, well that’s good enough.
  3. With people you love doing it with: There is no hiding the fact that I love my team. Our leadership unit is strong and complimentary. We fight as vociferously as we laugh and play as hard as we work. Our team is not perfect (I sometimes joke that I am) but it’s those imperfections that bring growth and trust and other fine things. But it’s more than enjoying your team that helps you stay focused when chaos pursues. How do you feel about your clients and suppliers? Are they a good fit for you? Are you a good fit for them? While it might feel like the best decision for your cash-flow, on the single occasion that I did fire a client, the results proved to be stellar.

I’d be curious to hear your thoughts? I know it’s a bit of a slippery slide but what works for you and your team that we should possibly explore as alternative solutions. Let’s talk on Twitter.

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