While it remains to be seen what history books will reflect on when it comes to the decade of the 2020s, one thing is certain. It will be earmarked by one word: CHANGE.
Since 2020, there has been a constant state of change that escalates now on a daily basis. Business owners and leaders have faced countless pivot points during this time, with admirable agility and tenacity.
Pivoting is about two things, and both are essential.
1. Anchor – The anchor is that set of core values or standards that do not change. It is who you are at the core, how you operate, and what you believe.
2. Agility – Agility is the ability to move quickly, adjust, and adapt in order to survive.
Putting these together, pivoting is being sure of who you are and what you believe, while also seeking new solutions and innovation. It is embracing new ideas, but holding true to your values.
Five Pivot Points for Leaders
What are your core values – your “non-negotiables”? Are your principles clearly defined? Are they written down? The act of thinking through to the level of writing down your principles and core values ensures that they are clearly defined and, being written down, capable of holding you accountable.
What gives you joy or causes frustration or stress? Look beneath these rocks, and you will likely unearth a core value. Knowing your principles and core values helps set an anchor point.
Another key that is important for leaders is to know your individual strengths. What makes you unique? Where are you at your best? Knowing this provides the anchor of self-confidence. And it also helps you learn and accept your weaknesses, thus identifying where you need key team members to fill in the gaps.
Thus, it is important that you know your strengths as a leader and that you also help each team member know theirs as well. In times of change, everyone needs to be operating from a point of strength. You will need the perspective of each individual on your team in order to step into agility.
This is where agility enters the picture. It is critical to be anchored, but if you lack the ability to adapt and expand your horizons in today’s business world, you could be left behind in a heartbeat. As a leader, you must be an avid learner and observer. What are the needs you see? How can you help, while staying true to your mission, vision, and values? The anchor will help you stay connected to the core that drew your clients and customers to you; and the versatility will help you continue to serve their evolving needs. A good adage would be to “Be wise and stay agile.”
There is a great deal of chaos in today’s headlines. Chaos is the companion of change. This is why it is important that you, as a leader, create a foundation of order wherever possible. This creates a continuity that is important to your people as they manage through changes.
For example, if you have clearly defined mission, vision, values, and processes, the team will be anchored in these and can more easily manage the chaos of changes on top of those. But if you go into a time of heavy change with no foundations set, the business may crumble like a house of cards.
Anchoring into these foundational systems of order provides the platform for agility.
Sometimes change happens quickly. At other times, like now, it is a long, steady flow of changes that happen across an extended timeline. COVID was like that. What was, at first, a temporary disruption became a long-term, society-changing catalyst. A few weeks became months, then years.
This is where tenacity comes into play. Leaders must accept that times of change require a great deal of tenacity – a constant application of anchoring and agility. Where others give up after a round or two, great leaders go round after round after round.
Doing this requires strength – mental, physical, spiritual, social, and emotional. As a leader, are you taking the time to strengthen yourself in these areas so you can serve your company and team well? Burned-out leaders don’t pivot; they quit. Be a leader who pivots.
“If change is the only constant, let’s get better at it.” – Jenny Blake, author of Pivot: The Only Move that Matters is Your Next One
1. As you are doing your strategic planning, consider the five pivot points above and identify areas that need attention.
2. Focus on one to three of those areas as you go into the next quarter. Or, better yet, start now.
3. For a jump start on how you can pivot well in these changing times, check out our resources page.
Deb Ingino is a highly sought-after executive coach, mentor, consultant, and speaker worldwide. Deb is well versed in business operations and in the importance of asking key questions most business leaders won’t ask themselves. She brings deep experience in leadership development, strategy, high performance team building and effective communication. She has a passion for leading people to discover and maximize their strengths as well as those of fellow team members, while offering advanced strategies to achieve high performance. Deb is the perfect fit if you’re ready to take your leadership and impact to the next level!