Volition Enterprises

How to Know if the Biggest Obstacle to Your Success is You!

As a Master Coach and Success Strategist, my joy is advocating and partnering with people who seek to achieve meaningful goals. Together, we push strategy and action until it yields the desired outcome? As clients take their results in their own hands, they quickly embrace what I already know — they are truly their greatest asset! Some naturally move in that understanding, others embrace it as a new way of seeing themselves. Then there are those who must first wrestle with the reality that they’ve been functioning as the opposite — a personal liability to their own success. Which one are you? Here are seven quick questions that can help you identify if the real problem is you. If indeed you are, recognizing it is the first step in ensuring a different reality.

Question 1. Do you avoid or refuse accountability? Who can tell you the truth? Who can call you on the carpet and challenge your decisions, rationale, or commitment? Who can get to see your vulnerabilities and give you guidance and direction. If the answer is “no one,” you may be on a path of potential derailment of which you’re not even aware. Accountability is directly correlated with success, so if you’re willing to be accountable to no one, you’ve actually decided to only hear and be led by your own voice — the short sightedness of this can only serve to work against you over time because it positions you to be an obstacle to your own success.

Question 2. Do you put little value on finishing? Successful people are finishers. Yes, at times they may choose to let something go, turn a corner, or even shift directions, but their pattern of choice is that of finishing what they start and finishing well. No matter the justification, if your track record is one of not making it over the finish line, you may be an obstacle to your own success.

Question 3. Is it always someone else’s fault? If your go to line is “it’s not my fault” or blaming and pointing the finger is your go to response instead of “What do I need to take responsibility for,” you may be an obstacle to your own success. Taking ownership is a position of power, however, if everything is seen as happening to you, you’ve accepted the role of victim. On the contrary, if you consistantly blame others, you may just be the one doing the victimizing. Either way, it’s an obstacle to your own success.

Question 4. Do you exhibit saboteur like tendencies? When you seem to be on a good path, do you let fear or insecurity convince you to mess things up before it gets messed up? Do you feel undeserving of good things and find ways to exhibit actions that assure good things? Don’t stay that way. If you find yourself predetermining negative outcomes then do what’s necessary to fulfill that expectation, you may be an obstacle to your own success.

Question 5. Are you good friends with passivity? Here’s the thing, there’s no such thing as true passivity because contrary to popular belief, doing nothing is still a decision to do something. When you decide to be passive, what you’ve really done is decided to give up your opportunity to actively affect the outcome with your input. Therefore, even a forfeit is an active decision. For example, a decision to not raise your children doesn’t stop them from growing, it just means you’ve forfeited or relinquished the power of your influence. If passivity or the illusion of not making a decision is your usual mode of operation, you may be an obstacle to your own success.

Question 6. Do you desire respect without responsibility? Part of the reason successful people are also respected is based on their span of responsibility. Responsibility to their communities, customers, employees, families, etc., is often what makes them worthy of respect. Now here’s a question, how many successful people do you know with little to no responsibility? Exactly. So, if commitment and responsibility are things you seek to get away from at all costs, you may be an obstacle to your own success.

Question 7. Do you think success comes before work? Recently, I heard master musician Quincy Jones say the “only time you’ll ever see success come before work is in the dictionary.” Ten points to Mr. Jones for that piece of wisdom. Being successful and maintaining success in your spiritual, professional, and personal life all takes work. For the most part, what you put in is a good predictor of what you’ll get out. If you’re unwilling to accept words and phrases like cultivate, resilience, mastery, stretch, grow, learn, pay dues, get back up again, press toward the mark, and failure is not an option as part of your success journey, you may be…(the biggest obstacle).

7 Strategic Tips to Make the Necessary Moves!

When you read the title “Stuck in Success Limbo,” what’s the first thing that came to mind? Was it a career move, business venture, relationship, idea, dream, next level transition or a combination of the aforementioned items? If success appears to be eluding you, help is on the way. Get ready to dig a little deeper and use the tips below to press toward the mark and make your limbo a thing of the past.

Tip 1: Ask Yourself – What color is the ball? So here’s the thing, if you’re absolutely sure it’s one color, that may be the hidden opportunity you didn’t know you had. Yes, perspective is everything but it can also be limiting because it considers a singular vantage point. That being said, who has the ability to look at your circumstance and give you a different perspective on how to achieve your goal? Take a chance and pick 3 people who have the subject matter expertise to truly spar with your perspective so you can gain a different and value added vantage point. Taking nothing away from your achievements to this point, it may just be time to seek wise council and explore options that were previously unnoticed or considered.

Tip 2: Ask Yourself – Is my foundation strong? It’s impossible to build a skyscraper on a foundation limited to a two-story building. Have you truly covered the necessary basics for the greatest chance at success? It may be time to go back to the beginning and make sure you’ve covered all the bases. For example, if it’s a relationship, are you clear on what the other person values and if your fundamental beliefs align? If it’s a new business, do you have a strong business plan and operating agreement? If success eludes you, take the time to go back to the beginning to see if it offers a missing link or potential game changer that can benefit you.

Tip 3: Ask Yourself – Am I on a path or a treadmill? Only you can assess whether you’re doing the same thing and expecting a different result. When you look objectively, are you engaging in the same attitude, approach, and actions though their yielding undesirable results? If you don’t change any or all of these factors you stand the risk of being on a proverbial treadmill going nowhere – even if you exert a lot of energy. So, what’s been your pattern? Dare to change it up. Get uncomfortable and try something different. And, invite one or two people to hold you accountable in this effort so you don’t revert back to old habits before you can truly assess if it’s working for you.

Tip 4: Ask Yourself – Am I shooting for the wrong target? When success limbo plaques a circumstance, the critical question is not whether or not you should quit. It’s more about whether or not you should attempt to meet the particular target in the first place – Is it a fit for you? More specifically, what is your true intention and/or motivation? Is the target aligned with who you are, your core beliefs, your gifts, talents, and purpose? Every success story can speak to adversity, resistance, rejection, and the like but there are times when it comes solely from the fact that you’re on the wrong track running the wrong race. If you’re on the wrong track it’s not about quitting, it’s about getting off so you can get on the track that’s right for you. And, if you’re running someone else’s race because it was successful for them, be warned, it was successful for them because it was their race to be successful at.

Tip 5: Ask Yourself – Am I going solo when I should be in a team effort? There are times when it’s clear we’ve gone as far as we can go as a solo act. The next level may require a distribution of the work and another set of hands to make success a reality. The key is to find the person(s) with the skill, resource, and integrity necessary to fill the gap in question. Is it time for you to partner with someone to help leverage your success? Don’t think of doing so as a loss but, instead think of it as an addition that may help pull things together.

Tip 6: Ask Yourself – Am I being hustled by fear? Not to be under estimated, fear can be a big factor when it comes to success. Fear of success, change, failure, loss and countless others can come into play to keep you in limbo. However, in most cases your options are three-fold, move without fear, move with fear, or be stopped by fear. Because fears greatest goal is paralysis, it can only be successfully combated with movement. In fact, movement to fear is like kryptonite was to Superman. Not only does it hate movement, but the further you go, the more your momentum will naturally diminish its effect. I once heard someone say, if you get tangled up just tango on. In short, keep moving even if you have to take fear with you!

Tip 7: Ask Yourself – Am I giving it my all? Success requires commitment, consistency, focus, sacrifice, and work. Are you half way in and half way out? Are you in the sometimes zone expecting a full commitment outcome? What has it taken for other people to be successful at what you’re seeking to be successful in? Is your effort and commitment consistent and comparable to theirs? If not, what will you do to step up your game and keep yourself encouraged as you make it to the finish line? Choose to see this as your season, give it your all, and watch what the return on your investment brings!

Yes, Managing Your Boss is Part of Your Job!

Few would disagree that bad bosses are a leading cause of many people quitting their jobs. Despite the fact that strong leadership is lauded and great leaders are worth their weight in gold, the bad apples are still plentiful and challenging to the masses. The irony is whether you perceive yourself to have a good or a bad boss, you still have the task of managing them as an unspoken part of your job description. Whether dynamic, mediocre, or disastrous as a boss, your ability to effectively manage him or her can be a significant predictor in leveraging or diminishing your professional success. The following seven tips are sure to help you effectively manage your boss and boost a more positive reporting relationship.

Tip 1 – Make Them Look Good… Every boss has a boss, bottom line, vision, and/or mandate to achieve. When you anticipate the organization or team need, prepare for the expected, anticipate the unexpected, and execute at a high level, your effort will often serve to make your boss look good. When they look good, you’re reaffirmed as a good hire and asset to their team. When you do your best and stay ahead of the curve, your leadership is a good reflection on your boss. And, they too have a boss or level of accountability they have to answer to. So, pay attention to the dynamic between them and their direct report. The more you have an understanding of their positioning with their boss, the more you can appropriately offer options to position wins for the team and your boss.

Tip 2 – Understand What’s Important To Them… Do you know what your boss values? What’s important to them? What’s in it for them? What keeps them up at night? Do you know their backstory? Knowledge is power. The more you know the easier it is to see your similarities and communicate based on what’s important to them. If you find the common threads between your experience and theirs you’ll have greater opportunities to connect and create a strong professional advocate for yourself. Take note that this is not about being inauthentic, it’s about finding points of connection that can make it easier to see the best in your boss and be similarly seen in return.

Tip 3 – Adapt To Their Work Style… What’s their leadership style? How do they work? How do they communicate and like to be communicated with? If you pay attention to how they lead, work, and communicate you can give them what they ask for in ways that are easiest to receive. If they like the big picture, have the details handy but lead and stay on the big picture. I once heard someone say speak in “their” native tongue and you’ll immediately increase your odds of success. In other words, if they speak French you’ll get no points for presenting a business concept in Latin. Speak in terms that lend to their preferred work style and their ease around you will best work in your favor.

Tip 4 – Pay Attention to the Politics… If your boss is at the very top of the food chain they’ve probably created the corporate politics, but if they’re in the middle, they too have to navigate the political landscape. Ease their anxiety by understanding the politics and not stepping on political land mines they have to attend to or be surprised by. Most bosses don’t desire, like, or accept surprises as a good thing. So, keep them strategically informed so they can best navigate and advocate for both you and the team.

Tip 5 – Let Them Get To Know You… In general, people are more comfortable with people they know and trust. Being anti-social, disinterested, or disengaged never helps you manage up, across or down. So yes, if you’re boss says we’re going out for drinks after work, you should do your best to make an appearance. Offer appropriate insight about who you are and communicate so they can get to know you and what you value. Your desired career path, how you want to be managed, what motivates you, and what you can do to add value in a way that is meaningful should not be a mystery or assumption. Being quiet or muted is not the best way to leverage your growth, movement, or momentum so give them an opportunity to get to know first hand. Then, volunteer for trainings, special projects, and leadership opportunities to give them further exposure to your skill set.

Tip 6 – Be Solution Focused… Managing up may not be easy but it’s easier when you’re being solution focused about problems that are at the top of their mind. Most bosses are not looking for you to hand them a list of problems. Instead, they want to know the problem and your thoughts beyond the problem. They want to know that you are troubleshooting the issue and leveraging greater results to rectify the issue and solidify great results. Your ability to be proactive versus reactive will not only raise your level of respect with your boss, but also your peers.

Tip 7 – Ask For Feedback… If you’re waiting for your annual review to ask for feedback, you’ve waited too long. Ask for feedback and be open to receiving it without resistance or potential defensiveness. It’s in your best interest to know how your boss sees you so you can best manage the perception. Not only do you want to listen to what they have to say, but take their feedback as an asset toward greater performance. When you’re known to receive feedback well, you will more than likely be seen as one who can take direction. Together, these attributes will definitely make you easier to manage in their mind and position you as a good candidate for more visible projects that need to be executed.

Good Luck!