REFLECTION: I’m a big fan of Marshall Goldsmith and his thinking about human behaviour and leadership. And so it was no surprise that his brief article in the November 2008 Harvard Management Update caught my eye.
The article focuses on a common roadblock to advancing change in our lives.
Goldsmith refers to it as a fantasy held tightly by good people with great intentions. The fantasy delusion reads something like this: “I’m desperately busy at the moment. My life is out of control. My challenges are unique. The situation is temporary. Once the worst of it is over, THEN I’ll get started on X.”
Does this script play in your life? I know it makes guest appearances in mine.
Goldsmith’s take on the situation, is that there will always be challenges, busyness, and crazy pressure. This means that the perfect time for diving in is unlikely to be just around the corner – once we’re caught up, as things settle down, or when we get to the end of the list. The chances that someone is going to gift us with a couple of free weeks to tackle X are slim to non-existent.
So, the critical question becomes, ‘In the midst of the muddle, despite the busyness and distractions, what am I willing to change now?’
ACTION: Take a look at one of the items on your back burners, lingering there in hopes that this perfect storm will soon subside.
Ask yourself the question: What am I willing to change now?
Act accordingly – one small action – one first step.
Let the storm continue to swirl around your feet as you step forward in a new direction.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “Accept the craziness of your life. Do what you can do now. Let go of everything else.” – Marshall Goldsmith
RESOURCE OF THE WEEK: For more of Goldsmith’s thinking, check out the library on his web site. Here’s a link to an article that touches on what causes people to give up on their goals: http://www.marshallgoldsmithlibrary.com/cim/articles_display.php?aid=117
READERS WRITE: With respect to last week’s Pause message on Hail Mary’s, J writes: An interesting read Patricia. As always, bang on. Unfortunately, there are some people who do not see that the burdens they pass down create HMs for people who can’t always ask for help with last minute jobs. I see this occurring more and more often as the people at the top ‘pass the buck’ to the next person in line.
The middle person is reluctant to ask for help when most people below are in no position to help, being stressed with their own workloads.
Thank you for continuing to send messages that people need to hear.