When people are lost they generally slow down or stop to get their bearings straight before moving ahead. It’s easy to lose momentum when you lose your sense of direction. The same applies to our lives, but instead of attributing a slow-down as a sign of needing to get a new sense of direction we tend to get anxious and try to mask the problem by creating more work for ourselves. A loss of direction is toxic, and a big reason why we burn ourselves out.
Further, a loss of direction creates a sense of disillusion with the tasks that we know we need to do to. Without having a sense of why or a feeling of confidence, we can’t move at the pace we know we need to. We’re brought to monotony and anything we do is drab and without the heart that got you to where you are.
Direction is hard to maintain especially as the stakes (family, financial obligations, personal pressure) become high and when coupled with industries that are ever-changing.
For example, we’ve
been struggling to find our place in a changing market where we’re now competing against low-cost overseas vendors. To solve that challenge, we have to look broader than any one individual change. A change like that requires direction
. Without that direction
, we’ll flounder trying to figure out where to start. The pressure to do so in the face of needing to maintain payroll is tough.
Which brings me to the toughest part of leading a team: you’re not always going to know the direction you’re headed in but you still need to lead. In these moments you’ll feel like an imposter, but having the trust of your team is critical to create buy-in as you adjust direction (or figure it out).
Direction will look a little different to everyone, but for me is a feeling of connection of my work to something larger. Once we have direction, everything else falls into place. No amount of motivation, inspiration, or talking to people will help otherwise.
PS: If you enjoyed this week’s issue, I’d really appreciate your support sharing it. Whether it’s a forward, a Twitter post, or giving me a hug, it would mean the world to me.
P.P.S: Sorry for the radio silence, folks. It feels good to be back after a 6-week hiatus! If you’re wondering where I went, I wrote a bit about it on Twitter