Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Which Way Are You Running?

By skeeze via Pixabay
Businesses and careers often come to a tough decision point, sometimes with huge implications for the direction of operations or an individual's job.

Whenever those types of decisions come up, I always like to make sure I evaluate whether I am running from something or running to something.

The distinction is pretty simple: Either you are trying to flee a situation that you are unhappy with, or you are trying to go to something that is a great opportunity.

All too often, I find people running from their situations. While that type of running can serve as quite the motivation in nature, say, when a rabbit is running from a coyote, in business, few situations are actually life and death requiring that kind of flight. What's worse, I frequently see people fleeing situations that haven't actually happened yet. That's right, I've seen people quitting jobs because they think that something is going to happen in the future, or companies cancelling projects because they don't think that it will work out. Unless you have a working crystal ball (and if you do, we need to watch the Kentucky Derby together next year or pick out our stock portfolios together), taking action based on potential future events does not make a ton of sense. At a minimum, you are not running from something, you are running from the threat of something, which is worse.

So instead of running from something, make sure you or your business are running towards something. You don't have to take the first job that comes along. Your organization can see that project along another two months. There is probably opportunity in what you are currently doing to change course and correct what has gone wrong. And if you have already failed, remember to learn from it.

Set goals. Create plans. Then when opportunities come up to change direction, make sure that they align with those goals and plans. Don't just give up on things without thinking it all through. So what are you running towards?