Mike (hubby), Steve (dog), and I were lucky enough to move a block from the ocean last August. While “lucky” could be an aggressive term as moving to the beach required a temporary 2-month stay at an Air B&B, the double move was made sweeter when you can hear the ocean from your bedroom!
I pinch myself daily. I also go for beach walks daily as a stroll in the sand never gets old. These walks are also where most of my brilliant 🤓 ideas hatch in my constantly-thinking brain.
During a walk last week I tuned into Brené Brown’s podcast with Scott Sonenshein, a researcher and organizational psychologist.
The topic: the return to work. His general points: leaders, if you think you can lead the same way you did in February of 2020, you’ve got another thing coming. The world has changed. People have changed. What worked in the past (questionable as to whether those things really did work) is no longer going to cut it. This is an opportunity for a great reset.
Listening in, I got FIRED UP. Sand was kicking up under my feet as my normally fast-paced walk took on more of a slow run quality. I started yelling notes into my phone. I started hand-talking and gesticulating on the beach.
This is an opportunity! A great reset! A chance for leaders to start fresh! A chance for leaders to create the cultures their teams are wanting!
Then, a strange thing happened from the beach access to the pavement as I headed home.
The pace shifted. I settled down. I settled in–and I thought, but how? What will change? How will they change?
I thought about the leaders I work with and the pressures and challenges they are already dealing with. Now they have to take on a reset?
I could hear their objections in my head.
- “But Erin, how can I handle more?”
- “But Erin, what if we can’t give people what they want?”
- “But Erin, how do we lead in a new way?”
- “But Erin, how do I find more capacity to change when I’m barely keeping it together now?”
How often do you have ideas, get fired up at the moment, and then the cooldown sets in, even before you can get back from your proverbial walk?
The voices of protection, of worry, of oh Lord another thing to have to deal with set in.
In these moments, I remind myself to shift to one of my go-to tools, the greater than sign. Math was not my forte in school, but one thing I did remember was the old alligator mouth, the greater than sign >.
The three words that have permanent status in the greater than sign post-it note on my desk are opportunity, possibility, and why not? When I find myself shifting to the negative, or doubt, I remind myself to swing right back around and get back into the mindset of possibility.
Scott talked about the great reset. Instead of getting bogged down in the how to do it all, I think the first step is to shift to the mindset of the words residing in the greater than sign.
Instead of the “Yeah buts…”
Instead of the “How can we…”
We can look for opportunities. Focus on the possibilities.
Ask ourselves, “Why not try something new?”
The energy of opportunity, possibility, and why not will give us a spring in our step to keep moving forward and to embrace the big reset.
I’m curious–have you found yourself reverting back to the same old or new ways of thinking as people get back to work in-person?
One way to not have to take it all on is to ask your team their thoughts on what THEY can do to reshape the culture during this great reset. We’re exploring some of these questioning techniques in our upcoming free, public workshop May 10th at noon EST. Head to the events page to register and learn more.