Think about it: If something has worked, you want to do it time and again because there’s less risk involved—the results are proven. Brains are constructed to mitigate risk and are committed entirely to survival. So what do we do in the world we experience right now, where we have to be practical, creative and interact with new challenges every day: How do you deal with unexpected moments? How do you see beyond what you know? How do you reach your full potential?
We have to be able to read the environment and the signals it’s sending us. That includes our internal environments, which most of us bypass daily—because we’re too busy; or we ignore internal signals because we don’t know how to interpret them; or we create distractions so we don’t have to confront them.
How much time do you spend accessing your internal world? I ask clients to spend three minutes a day on an internal audit. It is fascinating to decision makers to find most do not leave themselves even three minutes a day for reflection.
That’s not to say they are not focused. They are absolutely thinking about success and the bottom line and answering to stakeholders. But all of that outward focus without consideration to our internal drivers can cause us to lose connection with information necessary to reach our full potential, even and especially if the company is doing well.
What you do once you’ve reached the edge of your comfort zone is what sets you apart from others as a leader and a human being. We all have blind spots. The StillPoint Experience is an online, interactive assessment that will show you yours. Learn more.
Are you living transactionally? That is, are you just crossing off a set of boxes each day? When you are living just to get through the day, to put out fires, you are leaving yourself open to be broadsided by change or competition in the marketplace. You might be crossing things off the to-do list, but that’s not reaching full potential.
And remember, we can’t expect others to do what we won’t do ourselves. Companies can’t innovate or shake up the marketplace if its leader isn’t willing to do the work. After all, you’re leading the charge; you must personally reach full potential for your company to do the same.
Ask yourself this: What is the impact an unexpected moment has on you? Do you see them coming? If the wind gets knocked out of you, chances are it’s time for realignment. We suggest you start with introspection.