I was swimming on Sunday in the Pacific Ocean at Santa Monica beach. As I walked out into the water the uneven seabed meant every ten feet the water level went from being around my ankles to upto my neck. Some people around me panicked, screamed and flailed their arms. Others calmly swam ahead. Same experience when the waves came. Some people swam using the force of the wave to propel them forward, others let the waves crash over their heads and emerged gasping for air and disorientated.
It reminded me of what I observe when I work with executives to accelerate growth and innovation. Leaders at the top of their game aren't flummoxed when new initiatives appear, or the competition does something surprising, or your best employee decides to quit. Others struggle to maintain their composure and expend unnecessary energy flapping around.
How are you responding to the rise and fall of your tide of work? Do you others observe you flailing and gasping for air as you try to remain in control? Or do you calmly adjust and use the new force and energy to propel you to a new place. Knowing how to adjust your footing and appear in control will allow you to stay focused and achieve what you set out to achieve. Be the voice of calm and demonstrate to your team how to absorb and deflect energy in the right places.
Are you swimming effortlessly with the tide?