Pivot – how? What Orchestrating Change Requires from a Leader

Pivoting an organization is not a quick shift – it is an orchestration of many shifts made by many people over time. Focused & Nimble. Alignment & Momentum.

This blog is about leadership and, as entitled, collaborative action. That means — more than one person is involved. Pivoting your business, also requires leadership, collaboration, and action or execution.

You may envision pivoting as being a super quick shift, like footwork in basketball, and as used as an analogy for individuals or early-stage start ups that move quickly from one strategy, idea, action, market, mindset, etc. to another. Leaders know that turning-on-a-dime is often not possible and rarely sustainable across the organization.

Continue reading “Pivot – how? What Orchestrating Change Requires from a Leader”

Your perspective is a choice.

How are you looking at your life, leadership and business – and all that is in your world?

There is the world and there is the world as you perceive it, and the perspective – your point of view – you associate with it. You are not in control of the world. You are in control of your perspective, which creates your world. And so, you are in control of your world.

Your world encompasses you and everyone in your circle. Further, as a leader, your circle creates many circles with many people touched by the ripple resulting from your actions and words.

How you show up, and what you say and do, are driven by your perspective. You create a context, at work and in every place you lead …

Leaders, you can’t change a person but you can change the context you create at work and in every place you lead.

… You can choose to change your perspective.

First, pause and be aware of what triggers the perspective you have and test looking at this another way – whatever way best serves you and others. (My time for pausing, as you can see in the header of this article, is a long walk around a beautiful lake. I’m lucky — Even during this stay-at-home time I can walk with an easy social distancing. The picture was taken with my cell phone on a walk just a week ago.)

Perspective is a choice.

The meaning you attach to any situation, statement, event, moment… is entirely your own construction. Own it!

Be aware of how your perspective – your point of view and how you communicate it – affects you, and others. It is entirely up to you. Choose wisely.

Momentum, Mindset, and the PPP

Pivot: From ___ To ___

Your state of mind may be blocking your momentum toward a better future.

Many business leaders were not prepared for an external threat that results in a forced shutdown or significant and sudden loss of customers. As a leader, what you do next can greatly influence your own well-being and that of so many more – in your workplace, suppliers and vendors, community, other stakeholders and beyond such as those who serve who you serve. It’s the ripple effect of your words and actions.

What you say and do is driven by what you believe, and by your mindset. While beliefs take some time to change, you can shift your mindset at any moment.

You are in complete control… of your mindset.

Imagine how you influence other’s words and actions. You have an opportunity to set the context for positive mindsets. And that – that orchestration of many shifts by many people – is The Pivot. This way of orchestrating change is not a one-time initiative, it’s a habit.

At times when you feel that you are not in control, and that can be quite uncomfortable. You know that to grow you must step out of comfort. Growth is what I usually focus on as I coach leaders. But right now, I want to get you back to sanity – to some level of comfort – so that you can be the best leader for all those who are looking to you to be a positive influence for them. I am asking you to pause and consider your mindset or state of mind. Is it negative or positive right now? Is it serving you and others or is it not? Is it keeping you stuck or moving you forward?

Negative emotions – especially if held and reinforced through repetition – can seriously mess with your well-being. And there are a few in particular that are inhibiting an ability to lead during this crisis: Entitlement, Victim mentality, and Apathy.

Feeling entitled is similar to seeking to blame someone or something outside; it weakens your resilience, insight, and ability to lead with positive influence. Feeling a victim can be even more debilitating to your effectiveness as a leader; you are sending a message that blaming others as an excuse for not stepping up to the challenge in whatever way you can. Taking no action, being apathetic, puts you at odds of your role as the steward of your business, and it’s well-being. If your state of mind involves any of these three, you are not maintaining whatever momentum might be possible for your business. You might be frozen.

In a recent interview by Jason Zweig of the Wall Street Journal, Charlie Munger (now 96 and seemingly as clear-minded as ever!), replied this way when asked if their (Berkshire Hathaway) phone was ringing with “…corporate executives…begging for capital”…

“No, they aren’t,” said Mr. Munger. “The typical reaction is that people are frozen…They’ve never seen anything like it. Their playbook does not have this as a possibility.”

Being nimble is required for momentum in your business, and your life. The only way to not get stuck, at least not for very long, is to be nimble.

When you are nimble, you rarely get blocked or stuck. If you do – by something, someone, or your own thoughts – you have what it takes to move around, over, under or through.

This nimbleness includes a personal ability to pivot your state of mind from negatively stuck to positively productive. So, step up, be the leader you are, and do these three things:

  1. Give yourself a break; let the past go. Stop kicking yourself about your initial reaction (or inaction), even if that lasted for several weeks. Let that go.
  2. Pivot now to a different mindset and better leadership. To do so, first assess the state you are in. Then choose what state you want to be in: “From ____ To _____.” Once you get the hang of this, you’ll be able to shift your state of mind to more positive levels, step by step, very quickly. (I am calm and happy. But I’m not in those states every second of every day! I choose to live in a positive state of mind – it’s the only way I can create, serve, and be well. I’ve learned how to shift away from a negative state quite quickly. I’m not perfect! I get triggered by unnecessary hoops and being misunderstood. At the start of this at-home time, as business fell away, I felt I was in slow motion, with concern for people and that I might be missing a step or not be available as needed).
  3. Check your mindset before you say or do anything. It may help you to learn your triggers. You can look inside, and you can ask others who know you well. For example, do you tend to compare your situation to what you perceive is happening to/for others? Does lack of fairness drive you nuts? Or promises that were not kept? Or the deal changing after it’s agreed to? Or technology glitches that seem to block your every move and deplete the precious time you have? Or incentives that cause actions to run counter to stated intentions? Or… (you get it — these are a few aspects of “relief” and “PPP” that are triggering negative mindsets in business leaders today)

Allow me to share something that helped me shift out of my almost-stall. I Pivoted From “what PPP was triggering in me (see #3)” To “my own PPP” defined this way:

  • P = Perspective. Am I looking at this in a way that serves my well-being and the health of my business and all stakeholders?
  • Pp = Patient Persistence. Am I staying aware, paying attention where that’s needed, while also still leading the way forward, with intention?
  • P = Power. When I am being, doing, or saying this, am I in my power (moving forward on my agenda) or am I giving my power to someone else?

I would love to know what your own PPP Pivot might be!


Abrige Corp: The Pivot Catalyst & Aligned Momentum

It is always the right time for better leadership

Leadership, Alignment
Lead for Alignment

It is never too late to lead better. Lead for alignment.

Only with alignment and momentum are performance breakthroughs possible.

Only with Aligned Momentum can a business be vibrant: Valuable, Relevant, and a Great Place to Work.

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader. ~John Quincy Adams

Orchestrating a Pivot from performance management to performance momentum (Part 4 of 4)

Performance Reviews, Accountability, Pivot
Pivot to performance inspiration and accountability. Determine how reviews fit.

In this series I am focusing on the performance review, which for many organizations has failed to meet its goal of improving performance of the team(s) overall.

To catch up here are links to
Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3

Consider a Pivot from the single annual performance review, which for most organizations is ineffective or harmful for a variety of reasons (see Part 2) to a more continuous flow of performance conversations, with managers who are able and willing to help people rise and build great teams, and including future-look conversations held separately from any review (see Part 3).

A well-orchestrated Pivot requires first defining the desired state (vision), discovering what is right now, and then communicating the vision and strategic direction so that each person or group can choose their best next steps (because a successful Pivot involves orchestrating many shifts by many people all aligned toward a common vision/desired state).

Sometimes you’ll have to take a step back – and it may be a big step. Continue reading “Orchestrating a Pivot from performance management to performance momentum (Part 4 of 4)”

In a vibrant business, performance is inspired and reviewed. (Part 3 of 4)

Performance Reviews, Future Goals, Passion, Engagement, Alignment
Bring out passion with future-look conversations

If what you want is a vibrant business, consider – what will it take to orchestrate change – to Pivot – from performance management to performance momentum?

Performance momentum only happens when people are clear about the strategic direction, objectives, values, and how they fit. Alignment and engagement drive momentum. Vibrancy is evident, in (and for) the business and the people who work there. Continue reading “In a vibrant business, performance is inspired and reviewed. (Part 3 of 4)”

What’s harming the effectiveness of performance reviews? (Part 2 of 4)

performance conversations, performance reviews
Pivot to more effective performance – change the context

Part 1 of this 4-part series ended with a question: Does a “bad” (ineffective, even counter-productive) review result from being delivered by a “bad” (out of touch, controlling, low emotional intelligence, or worse) manager?

My answer: Sometimes, yes, but not always. Continue reading “What’s harming the effectiveness of performance reviews? (Part 2 of 4)”

Performance Reviews are not inherently ineffective. But most need to change. (Part 1 of 4)

Better Performance Review
An effective performance review is possible

Employee reviews weren’t meant to be ineffective or harmful to the morale of people you want on your team. However, too often, the performance management processes and policies organizations ask managers to follow, and promoting the wrong individuals to manage teams, are causing performance reviews to fail.

An employee performance review exists for performance improvement. Performance, in this definition includes both achieving in one’s role what the organization most needs from them and doing so in keeping with the organization’s core values. Continue reading “Performance Reviews are not inherently ineffective. But most need to change. (Part 1 of 4)”

Think Differently. Be Clear.

For teams to execute strategy brilliantly, a leader must be clear. Clear about the vision (the direction). Clear about the strategy (the way to move closer toward the vision) in a way that each person can understand the role they play to brilliantly execute that strategy. Clear about the purpose (why the company exists) and how the strategy aligns with this purpose.

One leader who inspired others, and connected to them with his communication in an actionable way, was Steve Jobs former CEO of Apple.

Steve Jobs Think different 1997

Continue reading “Think Differently. Be Clear.”