Getting CLEAR on Your Next Steps in Business

July 1, 2020

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I'm Deb- CEO, worldwide executive coach, mentor, consultant and speaker. I'm here to help you take your leadership and impact to the next level!

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Getting CLEAR on Your Next Steps in Business

Image Credit: Depositphotos


Do you remember when you went off to college or left home for the first time?

It was a mix of fear, excitement, adventure, and anticipation, all rolled into one big life experience.

Then your first holiday break came. You looked forward to going home to all the familiar people and experiences you had left behind. In your mind, things would be exactly as they had been.

Only they weren’t the same.

And neither were you.

Your family and friends had moved forward, and you had moved forward. They had grown, and you had grown. Each of you, in some way, had changed. It is the kind of change you don’t recognize when you are with someone daily, but that is very apparent with the passage of time when you have been apart.

In the world of business, we have been separated, each venturing off into unique experiences. And now, we are slowly coming back. We expected to return to “business as usual,” only to realize things are vastly different than they were when we left.

But here’s the thing. They never were always “the same.” Business is constantly moving, growing, changing, and adapting; we just do not see it when we are in it daily.

Sometimes, going away makes you see this clearly. And that can be a good thing.

It makes you realize that going back to the way things were doesn’t fit anymore. And it makes you think with greater innovation to gain clarity for what does fit.

This does not mean that everything should change. In reality, it would be disconcerting if you came home from college, only to learn that your parents had moved, your town had been renamed, and every single building had been torn down and replaced with new structures.

It is the blending of the old and familiar with the new and innovative that creates a foundation and helps a business grow. It is knowing your core values but creating a new product or service that serves your customers in their current areas of need. It is holding to the hallmark of your business but adapting it in new and innovative ways. It is serving the same customers in the same place but in a different way.

This is where we are, in the place of knowing who we are, yet knowing we must adapt to change.

How can you get CLEAR on your next steps in business?

Core Strengths and Values

These do not change except in degrees. You are who you are, no matter the changes that come your way. You may adapt, but to the degree you operate outside those strengths or values, you will feel the tension of it.

In DISC reporting, there are three charts, which indicate who a person naturally is, how they have developed those strengths, and how they are adapting to their current environment. The closer those charts are in alignment, the more effective and successful the person is. Where there is wide variation, the person will be stressed and struggling to attain success.

The same holds true with companies. Where they are out of alignment with core strengths and values, they will struggle. This is even more true in challenging times. Companies that do not have a grasp on their core strengths and values will veer off in wildly tangent directions, losing customers, money, and trust in the process. Companies that hold true to their strengths and values will adapt but within the range of who they are known and trusted to be.

Learn New Skills

This is not a time for companies to “rest on their laurels.” The restaurant industry is a prime example. If they have an in-house only operation that must be seated at full capacity in order to meet expenses, they are on life support right now. But those who have embraced new ways of operating – with delivery, curb-side service, mobile ordering, and expanded hours of operation – are managing to stay afloat in turbulent waters.

Successful business leaders have learned to conduct on-line meetings and manage a remote workforce. Teachers have found innovative ways to stay connected with their students.

Engage with Others

Sometimes, you just need to be around others to spark new ideas or gain new insight. Many leaders tend to think they must have all the answers. The fact is, the best leaders know they do not have all the answers, and they surround themselves with those who, collectively, do have answers.

If you are alone in the room, and you cannot see clearly how to pull yourself out of a bad situation, it may be time to leave the room and get help.

Assess Everything

“Because it has always been done that way,” went out of vogue about three months ago. In fact, it should never have been “in vogue.” It limits growth and potential. Everything can and should be assessed to determine its current value on a regular basis.

Are you operating your business with old methodologies and technology? It is time to consider changes. Are you allowing a person to perform under-par because you do not want to have an uncomfortable conversation? It is time to have the conversation. Are you holding on to meetings that are no longer productive? It is time to cancel them. A company must run with all people and components in sync and moving swiftly and efficiently together. If something is not working, assess the issue and address it.


Here is a dirty little secret few will admit, even to themselves. Sometimes leaders come to hate the thing they once loved. The entrepreneur who birthed a business may want to abandon it. The CEO who worked decades to attain the coveted corner office may dread entering its door. The scholar who earned the highest honor may suddenly feel confined by their chosen field.

These are normal points of growth for everyone. Yes. Growth.

These are signs that you have grown beyond something you have been doing. Taking time to reflect will both refresh you and help you identify what those things are. As you release those things to others and take on new challenges, your energy and passion will return.

Just as you grew and left home, you took some of that “home” with you. You can always return to its familiarities. But you cannot go back to the way it was. It has changed, and so have you.

This is growth.

It is holding on to core values, getting clear on new direction, and taking steps to move forward into even more new and exciting ventures.

For more resources on finding and working in your strengths zone, click here to learn about the Maxwell Method of Communications Impact Report.

As the CEO of Strength Leader Development, Deb Ingino is a highly sought-after international executive mentor, coach, trainer and speaker. Deb is well versed in global business operations and helps business leaders and their teams to discover and leverage their strengths, so they can create highly collaborative teams that deliver great results. With a refreshingly direct style, Deb helps leaders and their teams to deliver profitable results. Connect with Deb to learn more about her mentorship and coaching programs to equip you with advanced strategies to elevate your results.