Donna's blog on coaching, leadership, and life

Archive for December, 2008

Intent and expectations may impact outcomes.

I’m having open rotator cuff surgery on New Year’s Eve day. A weird day for surgery I know. But good timing for me, because January tends to be a slower month for my business and my husband has a bit of time off, when he’ll be able to provide some needed support and TLC for the first week or so.

Although I’ve done my research, and have a realistic understanding of what’s ahead, my intent is for my recovery to be swift and manageable, with minimal impact on my business. Can I be assured of this? Of course not. I believe going into it with the expectation of ideal outcomes however, is sure to positively impact my recovery. Trust me, I could easily go into it with an expectation of horror based on some of the stories I’ve heard from well-meaning friends about similar surgeries. But expecting or fearing horrible outcomes is sure to impact my stress levels, which in turn, will negatively impact my recovery. —Not to mention my holiday.

I share this with you for three reasons.

One is that if my next entry appears a week later than usual, you’ll understand.

Second, I’m planning on accepting all levels of compassion and good energy from anyone who cares to send them my way, even if it’s only a brief thought as you read this.

And third, in the spirit of blogging on topic, I think this idea of intent and expectations can be applied to anything that we do, including our work and interactions with others at work—or that visit from the relatives over the holiday. Expect it to be difficult and chances are you’ll be contributing some level of stress and difficulty. Expect it to be manageable, and you’re sure to contribute some level of calm and ease, which may indeed, make it more manageable. 

I look forward to sharing good news when I write again. Until then, my very best to you and yours for an enjoyable holiday and smooth transition into the new year.

Looking through a strategic lens

I love this phrase. It’s a great metaphor for being able to distance yourself just enough from a situation, an organization, or a problem, to focus on the bigger picture. Strong leaders are comfortable with this distance—with the ability to relay the details of the image, to engage, organize, and collaborate to create or restore the bigger picture to its healthiest state.

In today’s lean business environment, with employees and leaders fulfilling multiple roles, it’s natural to find yourself bogged down with day-to-day operations. But if it’s been a while since you looked through it, you may want to pick up your strategic lens and take a look.