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People who work from a place of passion and purpose often find themselves rolling up their sleeves and getting stuck in when things go wrong.

It’s part of our DNA; whether it’s helping a client, loved one or just getting a project back on track. We get our blinkers on, head down and do everything within our power to turn the situation around. This can often look like: extremely long hours without breaks, no personal time for health and wellbeing, fast food diet, all work and no play. A miserable place to be.

I often thought this was one of my super-powers! It’s something I’ve been recognised for throughout my career, receiving praise from managers, funders and Trustees for ‘pulling it out the bag against all odds’. I thought this meant I was tough. I have been wondering though, now as a manager of five, is this the precedent I want to set for the Junction Point team? But equally, what would happen if my ‘dig deep’ button was completely deactivated? What would I do instead?

As usual when I hit these points of reflection, I turned to the bookshelf and started looking at what the evidence and experts suggest. The books related to scaling a company, team management and changing habits jumped out first. They provided lots of insights into system and process change but didn’t really talk about that exact pressure point I’m referring to. I soon realised that this is not a ‘business development’ challenge, it’s a ‘me’ challenge and so turned to Brené Brown’s book ‘The Gifts of Imperfection.’

If you haven’t read this one, it’s a must.

Within the introduction chapter to her book, Brené spoke of this exact dilemma. Her solution is to ‘get deliberate’. When we have competing priorities, or a big pressure point to deal with, the options are to go fast and furious or slow and deliberate.

I loved this idea and started to write down a description of how my current ‘dig deep’ looks and feels vs the new reality that I want to create. Some key questions sprang to mind:

  • What can wait?
  • What can be delegated?
  • What can be reduced to a minimal accepted standard?
  • What is a no?

In order to answer these questions, the new routine I’m going to try is: When the pressure point hits, I will clear at least one hour to look at the bigger picture and answer the questions above. The way forward will be: deliberate, creative, courageous and connected. If it is not those things, then it is not the solution.

This isn’t to say that there won’t be any late nights or meals on the go, but my hope is that it will reduce the extremity of this to a more manageable and deliberate approach to ‘digging deep’.

Brené also says that “courage is contagious”.  This is my hope for the Junction Point team. We’re all doing the best that we can and often we forget that in order to be courageous we have to feel the fear too. Today I wanted to share this experience with you to show that we’re all on this learning journey together from a personal and organisational level.

So be courageous, get deliberate and then dig deep.

I’d love to hear what your solutions are to this challenge. Please feel free to leave a comment as to what’s worked and what hasn’t worked for you!

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