Today is my birthday. It’s my 49th. It’s the last year I’ll be able to say I’m in my forties. Today is also Inauguration Day in the US. For about half the voters, the day before Inauguration is always painful. For these folks, they are bidding goodbye to an era that they appreciated. And, of course, a few weeks ago was New Years. On New Year’s Eve, my Facebook feed overflowed with messages of good riddance to 2016 (a year that took both David Bowie and Prince which seems particularly harsh).
Looking back at the end of something is cathartic. For me, and people like me, the next birthday (usually a milestone one) is not filled with trepidation as it is for others. I see it as a new marathon that I’ve just trained another ten years to run. I don’t know where I’ll place at the next finish line, but I’m going to try and finish better than I did at the last one.
I plan on leaving the next thing. That’s how I work. I’m confident I’ll make it through whatever it is. The anxiety that many feel at the start of something new is not a feeling that affects me often.
As a management coach, I’ve written and spoken about managing with intent. When you approach management with the intention of creating a particular outcome for your team, organization, and self you have a far greater chance of reaching your goals. You don’t know all of the roadblocks you will face along the way. However, you do know that the only barriers you need to work around are the ones that keep you from reaching your destination. Managing with intent allows you to immediately identify and dismiss those challenges that don’t block your path.
As a manager, you save time, energy, and stress by reducing the number of factors that require a reaction from you and your team. Members of your team may come to see you as focused and calm in the face of adversity. This view of you increases their trust in you as their leader.
So, take this time, right now, and decide where you want to be one year from now. Once you choose and hold onto that image, you will be surprised at how effective your management will become.