October 10, 2017

Getting Your Head In The Game

An engaged pursuit is not simply on a path understanding your Professional Story or navigating what’s next in your career.  It’s also making sure your mind is function at 100% to help you achieve success.

I’m building this company to solve the multi-billion-dollar engagement problem facing companies (and professionals) across the globe.  How’s that for a stretch goal??

My hypothesis – people (and therefore organizations) are more engaged when they know who they are professionally (what makes them tick) and have a sense of what’s next in their career.  While happy hours and days-off help, true engagement comes when professionals are in the right roles and can see a future.  It’s that simple (but I’m finding not addressed at all).

An Engaged Pursuit is not only a physical journey to understanding who you are professionally (and discovering what’s next), but also a mental journey.  I’m noticing that clients who are both physically and mentally invested in their Engaged Pursuit are most successful. They are out there hitting the pavement and also mentally in-the-game with intent around their professional journey.

I’m finding the word “intent” super important as I work with more-and-more clients (and organizations).  But how do you get there? How do you get your head in-the-game, especially if you’re dealing with a toxic environment or find yourself in a difficult situation (layoff, etc)?  It’s tough, but not impossible.

Here’s some of my best practices for ensuring you have intent as you start (or continue) your Engaged Pursuit.

Acknowledge intent:  Simply telling yourself that you’re going to operate with more focus can make a huge difference.  It doesn’t have to be weird or super formal (no talking to yourself in front of the mirror, please).  Just mentally make a note that you’re doing to start doing things differently, with purpose and confidence.  A baby-step like this can (and will) make a huge difference almost immediately.  Try it.

Early to bed, early to rise (more importantly): Mornings are really important to me. Carving-out time to plan for the day, thinking about my client relationships and building-out strategies for new business all come in the morning (after coffee, of course).  Use this time for quiet.  Try getting up 30-minutes early and see what happens. You won’t be sorry!

Limit the booze: I know, I know.  Winter is coming (and those Manhattan’s taste so good). But if you’re going to be successful at my second bullet (see above), you have to limit the booze.  Sorry! I’ve found that I’m clearer, more focused, and more impactful to my clients when I don’t drink the night before. Let nothing get in the way of your path to intent!

List the WHAT: I love listing what I want to accomplish each day.  Such a list keeps me on track, gives me a sense of what’s coming, and helps to make sure that I don’t miss any deadlines. Plus, I love checking stuff off when complete (who doesn’t??).  I find a daily list to work best for me, but feel free to start with a weekly list.  Just SEEING what you want to accomplish is motivation enough to keep your head in-the-game.

List the HOW: In additional to what I want to accomplish in a particular day, I also write down how I want to operate with myself, my clients, and my community.  I like cheesy stuff like “smile” or “ask more questions” but you can also be more polished in your approach like “communicate more effectively” or “take time for myself.”  Whatever works for you, but I think it’s really important to include how you want to operate as you think about maximizing your intent.

Bring in your Executive Committee: Let people important to you know you’re working on intent. They can hold you accountable, ask questions, and help you if you get stuck.  Who knows, you might also inspire someone else to be more focused on what they’re trying to achieve personally or professionally.  Don’t keep your new approach quiet!

Your homework this week: Give some intent work a try.  Start easy like getting up earlier or making a list of HOW you want to work in addition to the stuff you’re trying to get done.  See if that makes a difference in not only how you feel, but the work you’re trying to accomplish as well.  Shoot me an email and let me know how it’s going!

Coming-up later this week:  It’s “Healthy Mind=Healthy Career” month around here and next week I’m going to write about tackling negative self-talk.  This is a tough topic.  I’ll give you my best practices for when those gremlins come out and start shouting at you from one (or both) shoulders!

Here’s to your Engaged Pursuit!

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