Those goals can be personal or professional, they can be about you, the business that you run, a charity you are involved with or any other entity that needs to have a future.
Developing a plan is tough. You have to give it some time and energy, you need to put deep thought into the plan, you will likely need to coordinate the thoughts of multiple people to create your plan.
Executing on your plan is even tougher… because developing a plan is the “sexy” part, execution requires a discipline, routine, stamina and a willingness to keep pushing towards the goal. It can also be very rewarding, as you knock off those milestones along the way, tick off the “To DO” items that you complete and celebrate the small successes you can feel the positive momentum. You know you are moving in the right direction and that, even with the inevitable bumps along the way, you are moving inexorably towards that goal.
Sometimes plans change!
It could be external factors such as economic conditions, regulatory change, market changes or competitive situations. It could as easily be internal factors such as company changes, management changes, new better opportunities arising or staff changes.
Whatever the cause, it is likely to have a big impact on you. You developed a plan, you were working your plan, you have had some success and now the plan needs to change. It is quite likely you will experience the 5 stages of grief, although obviously not to the same extent. However denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance are all likely to be felt!
“Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don’t.” Steve Maraboli,
So what do you do…
- You have to get to acceptance as soon as possible.
- Be kind to yourself. Any large change can feel tough initially, even if the change is ultimately for the good.
- Vent. Talk about it to your trusted advisors, family and friends. Let some of the emotion go so that you can move on to what comes next.
- Self talk. Change brings opportunity, good lessons will have been learned along the path and anything you achieved, and experience gained, can be harnessed for the future. Whether the change is due to personal failure, situation change or other factors there is now a new opportunity to pursue.
- Understand the change. Listen, ask questions, REALLY understand and under no circumstances be the “naysayer”, sometimes called the “devil’s advocate”. At this stage let other people do that.
- Understand how you can contribute to the change. How can you be involved? What will you learn? How will you be viewed? What can you do to maximize the situation?
- Begin the planning process again. If it is your project then it is a project plan. If it is someone else’s project that you are a part of, then bring value to them.
- Give the new plan a chance. Don’t make hasty decisions. Do not be emotional. Focus on the positives and plan for success.
- Re-evaluate. Once things have settled down and execution against the new plan is happening, take stock of the situation. In the cold light of day are you on board with the new plan? Can this work for you? Can you bring value? Will you learn?
- Commit. Whatever you decide to do, do it well!
“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” Andy Warhol.
Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
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