Be Prepared To Change Course But Have A Destination In Mind
When you set off to either start a new career, new job or a new business and you are in transition, sometimes things never work out the way you want them to be.
In Southampton where I live, we have around 500 cruise ships visiting us each year. Being a turnaround port, these ships carry about 2,500 to 4,500 passengers each, with a ratio of 1:3 for the crew on average. So, around 2 million visitors and 450,000 crew members per year. The itinerary for those ships is prepared years in advance, as the cruise company has to book the berthing, arrange for resupply, transportation, fresh crew and more. This is logistics at its best.
Same as a cruise ship itinerary is set months in advance, timely logistics are put in place in terms of berthing, resupply, embarkation & disembarkation. The list is long. But sometime things do not always go according to plan and the ship is delayed, or totally miss its port of call.
In 2001, I set off to get an MBA and end up joining the British armed forces. I gained and learned much more than an MBA could have taught me about life, people and myself. After I left I wanted to start an import and export business, travel the world but failed. Now I travel and run events and workshops around the world. But Still no MBA.
You see nothing goes according to plan in life, you cannot even predict the next hour even if you are at home, on the road or in the workplace. Things are constantly changing.
As a leader, you need to be prepared to change course but always have a destination in mind. One of my company sell retail cruise, and sometime I come across those cruises where you eat, drink, be merry enjoying some of the night entertainments while the ship drifts round in circle for a few days. I call them a cruise to nowhere.
When you are in transition, you need to have a destination in mind otherwise you will go around in circle and it is not as fun as on a cruise ship. Set off on your journey have a destination in mind and be prepared to change course.
“It is all about having a plan, a plan that gives you a direction, an aim and a focus.”
When your destination is clear, you can keep coming back to the ship’s itinerary again and again and update your ETA for the next port of call. This brings us to the next important skill you need as you navigate in the open seas: your compass. (Read my blog on finding your compass).
So here are a few action steps for you if your life & career is going round and round in circle:
- Step back and ask yourself. If you keep doing what you have been doing in the last five years, where will you be & what willyou become in the next five years.
- Think win-win. We all know by now that we should always place yourself in a position when both parties win however I will add think on the impact you will have on others around you and your social contribution. When we talked about sustainable development in the business world, it is not just about the environment, but also about humans in the those environments.
- Be Flexible. Flexibility allows us to make better decisions. In today`s changing world, we are continually presented with new information. As we become better informed, we may realise that the decisions we made yesterday are not the best decisions today. It is never too late to make the right decision. Flexibility is an attitute that can help us succeed both personally and professionally.
Myself, my whole life has been about striving in uncomfortable zone and unfamiliar territory. As a sugar cane boy born in Mauritius, I have successfully engaged & transitioned across government, military, business and the 3rd sector. Being a citizen of two commonwealth nations, an international best selling author & multi award winning British veteran, made me realise the importance of creating lasting value, where success is about significance.
I believe Environment dictates performance and you gain more Experience by Exposing yourself to new Environment.
What we do:
TriAtis leadership is a learning and development organisation operating in the UK & in Africa. We develop leaders who stand out, become relevant & highly valued by making meaningful impact to organisations. Our programme is based on the ‘Leaders Operating System’ from the best selling book ‘Leavers To Leaders’ now available in 17 countries.
Samuel T. Reddy
Best Selling Author/ Award Winning British ExForces/ Speaker / Advisor
The above is an updated excerpt from my best selling book -Leavers To Leaders: 7 steps to reinvent yourself while in Transition.