09
Mar
15

You feel “stuck” because …

stuckSooner or later, all leaders have symptoms of being stuck. It’s when you feel like you’re working really hard and making excruciatingly slow progress … or no progress at all. It’s when a few setbacks turn into major hurdles. It’s when getting things done seems to take more work and more time. It’s when problems begin to multiply faster than you can fix them. It’s when current reality feels like permanent reality. It’s when there is no doubt that you are officially running on the hamster wheel and getting nowhere. Simply put, feeling stuck sucks.

Maybe you had a few tough years financially. Maybe you had to rebuild your business. Maybe you lost some key staff. Maybe you made some decisions that really backfired. Maybe this “leadership” thing is too much for you. Maybe you’re bored. Maybe you’re just tired. The fact is, if you feel stuck … you are stuck. And as the owner or leader of a company, if you’re stuck – those you lead are stuck and, most importantly, your company is stuck. Stuck sucks.

Here are some No-Compromise Leadership strategies to get you unstuck:

  • Kick your own ass: That’s right … give yourself a good kick in the ass. The first step to getting unstuck is to acknowledge that you and you alone control your destiny. It is your choice to remain hunkered down and stuck, or stand up, reassess where you are, put a pin on the map and get moving. You already know that the longer you allow yourself to remain stuck, the harder it is to get unstuck.
  • Fear and uncertainty is superglue: Leaders often get, and remain, stuck because they ran into a tough decision. A tough decision is nothing more than a strategy or plan to breakthrough an obstacle. All plans have an element of risk. All plans have their believers and resisters. When initiated, all plans are subject to change and modification to adapt to situations as they occur. If you’re stuck because you fear making a tough decision, that decision will only get tougher with each passing day. More importantly, the outcomes you fear most will eventually happen if you continue to avoid hitting the launch button on that tough decision. You can control the execution of a tough decision and therefore the outcome. Getting unstuck is about controlling your own destiny.
  • Divide and conquer: Leaders can get stuck when the work to be done exceeds their capacity. It’s easy to get stuck with a mountain of work in front of you. Some leaders are reluctant to ask team members for help. Other leaders believe that the only way to get it done right is to do it themselves. And then there are the leaders that simply bring their team together to lay out the work that needs to be done. All I can tell you is that every time I’ve done this myself or advised a coaching client to do it … team members step up to help. Every time, there is a sigh of relief as the weight of the work is removed from your shoulders. Before you know it, that mountain of work is gone. Delegation with clarified expectations is the most efficient process to getting more done in less time … with less stress.
  • Getting cash flowing again: Nothing feeds stress and gets leaders stuck in the muck faster than cash-flow problems. Getting behind in paying bills is one thing … getting behind in rent, taxes and payroll is about as scary and debilitating as it gets. Whether the cash crisis happened over time or is due to one big bad decision, cash-flow problems always take time to work through. Of all the disciplines we teach and coach at Strategies, cash-flow planning is the most important non-negotiable. Getting cash flowing again means getting control of cash that’s flowing out. Just “cutting back” is not a plan, because the spending behaviors and extent of the debt always goes deeper and is more complicated. Vendors, banks, landlords, leasing companies … and state and federal IRS … are willing to work with companies that have a detailed cash-flow plan and demonstrate the ability to be consistent on promised payments. As the owner of the company, you probably have everything you own on the line, which means this is no time to be stuck. Even in the worst case situations, a well built cash-flow plan can give clarity and relieve financial stress to get a leader unstuck
  • Towel in hand: We hear owners and leaders say it all the time, “I’m ready to throw in the towel and get out.” Ninety-nine percent of the time it is because the business was “free-floating” without the necessary leadership, systems, accountability and culture to keep it thriving. Entrepreneurs are great at vision, big ideas and building businesses. The problem is that many are great at what the business “sells”, but in over their heads when it comes to the leadership and disciplines of how a successful business works. This is especially apparent when the business grows beyond the capabilities of the owner. The most serious kind of stuck is when the owner or leader begins thinking about throwing in the towel. Well, here’s what throwing in the towel usually means; significant personal financial losses that will take years to pay off – or bankruptcy. If the business is a mess, it probably had debt … and there is no buyer out there that will pay enough so the owner walks away clear. So, if you’re twirling a towel around your head, put it down. Get the training, coaching and guidance to get unstuck and pull your company out of the mess and back to profitability. And guess what? Almost every owner that turns their business around falls in love with it all over again. Why? Because they got unstuck.

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Please share your thoughts with me about today’s Monday Morning Wake-Up. Click below to comment.

Pass this e-mail on to your business colleagues, managers and friends. They will appreciate it.

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