August 11, 2021
By Dave Bushy
In the workplace and in life we sometimes enter a phase where we feel as if we are standing on uncertain ground. We become disoriented and struggle to find our balance in order to regain equilibrium.
Sometimes it can be a new job, or a promotion, or even a transfer. It can be a change in the team around us, or it can be the way others might view us, using a different lens for a new role we have taken on. Whatever the cause, each of us can experience it.
As a new vice president at a Fortune 50 company a number of years ago, I remember walking into each meeting with trepidation. I had been promoted ahead of a number of more senior people. As a result, at times I felt like an imposter, at other times as if I was being judged, and most often as if I was somehow out of my league. And each time an issue was raised I felt as if I had to have the answer and take ownership of anything my department touched.
Most importantly, I looked at the other vice presidents and more senior leaders with a mixture of amazement and, honestly, some disappointment, as I saw their efforts at navigating corporate mazes. Some would use “buzz” words which tended to set up smoke screens. Others would commit to an action and then change their story at the next meeting. The most adept open field runners would pivot (I even saw a few pirouettes!) in the middle of meetings as they saw which way the company “wind” was blowing. The drama and uncertainty I felt as I observed those things was palpable to me.
I was fortunate to work with a coach during my career who helped me learn more about myself and how to change how I approached such situations. I know that helps me serve my clients, because each has experienced times when the “ground” under them seems to be uncertain.
Here are five perspectives to help you find solid ground again:
Ship captains seldom get seasick. They aren’t special human beings. But they have a secret: They keep sight of the horizon, not the waves. That makes all the difference for them. The waves come and go, but the horizon – the long-term goals and who we are as people – that will always be there.
Dave Bushy of Boston Executive Coaches – bostonexecutivecoaches.com – is a former U.S. Army officer and senior airline executive who works with leaders throughout American industry.
Image by FrankWinkler from Pixabay