Donna's blog on coaching, leadership, and life

Observing multiple challenges? Spend your energy where you’re sure to have an impact.

This entry reflects on a common challenge that interestingly tends to be experienced more by strong leaders and managers, than by their struggling counterparts.

In the midst of significant organizational need, flux, or change, you may be well-aware of a multitude of leadership or operational issues needing attention. You may genuinely care about the company’s success and the people who work there which is generating your personal desire to respond or recommend where you see a need. Yet it’s crucial to understand that as a manager, and a human being, there is only so much energy you have to spend on your work and the issues facing you and your team(s). Stressing over how another manager is leading or misleading his team, or enabling a colleague who clearly may not have the skills to sustain success, or trying to respond to all or many of the needs you identify within your larger organization, will leave you exhausted and ineffective.

If you find yourself in this position, your personal challenge is to first understand where you have control and potential impact, and where you do not.

Once you’ve identified and compared what Stephen Covey refers to as your “Circle of Concern” against your “Circle of Influence”, your professional challenge will be to focus your efforts on those areas of need where you have control or the most potential for impact, and let go of the areas of need where you do not.

Your ability to focus and strategically lead where you have control and can make a difference, will allow you to maximize your contributions to the success of the whole.

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