Do you feel like you have come to a crossroad or worse, hit a dead end in your business or career? Have you lost your MOJO? Perhaps you have lost direction and drive because of setbacks. Perhaps you are returning to work after personal crisis or critical illness. Here is a suggestion to help rekindle your drive at work:
Please note: This blog is not about driving a vehicle or going on a journey. However, I do hope the occasional analogy to driving and operating a vehicle will resonate and add a bit of fun to understanding the concepts.
Reconnect with your values.
Every time you walk into your office, whenever you chat with a client or a colleague, and even when completing routine tasks like paperwork. Remind yourself: “This is why I am here.”
When you actively look for ways to connect with your values and your personal mission, you find opportunities to find meaning and purpose, re-engage your drive, and re-ignite your mojo. Your ability to experience mind-blowing insights begins to fire on all cylinders. While this concept is not a magic pill, you will begin to feel the magic come back in your work and your life. Don’t allow yourself to fall into a zombie-like routine and forget to connect with what you love doing.
My coaching clients are very accomplished and good at their jobs; so good, in fact, they could go through their day on automatic pilot. Being on automatic pilot or cruise control as you are trying to re-engage your drive is a mistake. Get into the habit of asking yourself introspective questions. Such as...
- Why am I doing this? Is there (still) meaning in doing this?
- Is there a better way or a more interesting and fulfilling way?
- Who else can help out here? Who is the "best" to help out here?
- What do others think about this?
An important point to remember is that organizations have values, too. To be effective, your values must align with or at least be compatible with those of your company (if you are an employee) or those of your clients and alliances (if you are a business owner). When there is misalignment, you will feel the effects - irritability, overwhelm, burn-out. You will feel like you are going nowhere fast, hitting every bump in the road, and misusing valuable energy.
My clients (executives and business-owners) often come to the realization that they have conflicts of ethics and values with their organizational culture, their client's culture, or in some cases, their industry culture. If these conflicts are not sorted out and resolved, my clients will fail to flourish in their professional and personal lives. That's usually when I hear "I can't seem to find my passion."; or "I feel like I have lost my mojo."; or "I don't feel a fit anymore." This becomes the time to re-evaluate. Where to begin.
Know and Manage Yourself
Self-knowledge is essential to navigating the twist and turns and changing landscapes of business, careers, and life. In business, nobody will manage your career if you don’t. If you are a business-owner, you still need to remain the key decision-maker, the driver, whether or not you are a master of delegation.
Ask yourself three questions:
- What are my strengths?
- How do I perform best?
- How do I learn best?
What are your strengths? You can identify your strengths through assessments such as Values in Action Inventory of Strengths (VIA-IS) complemented with feedback analysis on your decisions and actions. Whenever you make a key decision or take action, write down what you expect will happen. Also write down what you expect will happen if you do not make the decision or do not take action. Later, compare the actual results with your expectations. Over time, your strengths—and your incompetencies—will be revealed. Plus, you will build your self-regard (a key component of emotional intelligence), self-confidence, and the ability to be discerning about how to utilize your strengths and where to invest your energy. Invest the most energy on developing your strengths, but be aware of your blind spots. An EQ360 assessment is a valuable tool for identifying these blind spots.
How do you perform best? Are you a reader or a listener? Do you work well in teams or do you excel when driving solo.
How do you learn best? Do you learn by doing or do you process information by hearing yourself talk.
In the validated EQ-i(R) model of emotional intelligence, Self-Perception includes Self-regard, Self-actualization, and Emotional Self-awareness. Understanding your strengths and receiving feedback from peers, trusted advisors, a mentor, or a coach are key to knowing and managing yourself.