This is the third of 10 challenges for you to consider embracing to create a new year that is more productive for yourself as well as for those around you. I have borrowed ideas from a book I read last year, The First 90 Days: Critical Success Stories for New Leaders by Michael Watkins.

Read previous challenge articles:
First Challenge – Promote yourself
Second Challenge – Accelerate Your Learning

Third Challenge – Match Strategy to Situation

Arriving at your desired destination always has to start with a clear picture of where it is you are currently standing. If you don’t take the time, and allow yourself to be completely honest in clarifying your current situation, it is impossible to identify the right strategies to improve your circumstances, let alone achieve the ideal situation.

It is only with this honesty that you can clearly see both the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead of you. This also provides you with the ability to clearly identify which resources and strategies will be required to achieve your new reality.

When we’re aware of what the typical challenges and opportunities are that often accompany a transition, it makes them much easier to recognize, and in turn, much easier to create a plan to either mitigate the impact or embrace the potential. Let’s take a look at what those areas are that we need to carefully evaluate when making a transition.

Typical Challenges

  1. Behaviors no longer contribute to high performance - Look for these behaviors and either modify them or eliminate them.
  2. Change is not seen as necessary - You and everyone involved have to be convinced that change is necessary. Do not move forward until this has been addressed (some people may get left behind).
  3. Commitment to the new reality - You and everyone on the team must refocus all of your efforts on a new desired outcome. You will have to remind and recommit yourself and your team to your new destination on a regular basis.

Typical Opportunities

  1. Areas of strength - There are significant areas of strength within yourself and your team members on which to draw. Identify what they are and utilize them to the fullest extent possible.
  2. The positive side of change - The right people want to continue to see themselves as successful and will do what’s necessary to get there. The definition of success may change but you (and others, if applicable) will adjust accordingly.

Acceleration Checklist as suggested in The First 90 Days (paraphrased in places)

  1. What are the implications for the challenges and opportunities you will likely face?
    • How will you address each as an opportunity/challenge to accelerate/slow your transition?
  2. Which of your skills and strengths are likely to be most valuable in your new situation and which have the potential to get you into trouble?
  3. What is your prevailing frame of mind?
    • What adjustments need to be made (if any), and how will you bring them about?

Once you are clear about where you are going, and just as clear about where you are now, the strategies required to connect those two points will become much more obvious. You will get “there” much faster by spending time analyzing “now”.

 

Photo by Stefan Erschwendner.