By Ron Harriman
As we approach year-end, I am reminded of an early mentor of mine who gave me the sagest advice. He typically took about two weeks off over the holidays and intentionally used this period to clear his mind and determine whether he was committed to accepting the demands of the position once again throughout the upcoming year. It was not a mindless endeavor for him to show up in January to grind it out one more year. Rather, he came back renewed and fully accepting the demands of the position. Predictably, being a dedicated national roof consultant, some of these demands included long days, travel hassles, conflict, bad jobs, missed budgets, and more to navigate throughout the course of the year. Regardless of the demands he would face, he challenged himself to self-reflect, consider options, and ultimately made the commitment that he was “all in” for the upcoming year.
I borrowed this mental approach, and it has helped me immensely as it is very likely that in every year, we will encounter headwinds. We may not be able to predict them precisely, but there will be challenges.
In January of 2022, the Benchmark Leadership Team read the book “Great by Choice” by Jim Collins. It is an exceptional book that I highly recommend. It helped us create a mindset of preparedness for headwinds, even those unforeseen. Since 2020, we have all experienced some of the most unique challenges and it is now interesting to look at those companies, teams, or individuals that have not only survived, but thrived. What have they done differently? Were they lucky, or were they better prepared? Perhaps both.
As we wrap-up 2022, do you find yourself jacked up and ready to take on the new year? Or are you feeling fatigued or overwhelmed? If it is the latter, I‘d suggest you borrow my mentor’s advice and Stop and Think. Give yourself a clarity break – whether it be a few days or a few hours – where you really think deeply about your professional journey, consider your options, and make a commitment to the path ahead.
I’d also like to add on to that advice and suggest that you don’t go it alone. Look for an opportunity to Work Together. Perhaps talk it through with a mentor, coach, or trusted associate. We can all benefit from having a coach in our lives. Investing in coaching can be an investment of highest return. One of the challenges of our current world, whether it be a remote work environment, hybrid, or some other form, is a breakdown in personal and professional connections. Let’s buck the tide and seek working together and connections – regardless of the work environment.
2023 is nearly upon us. Some of the challenges or headwinds ahead we can predict, some we cannot, but we can prepare. I hope you will:
- Stop and Think.
- Work Together.
If you take a special Stop and Think break, please let me know. I’d love to hear about the results of this investment in YOU.
Let’s Think and Work together!
Ron Harriman, President