5 Ways to Maintain Momentum… When It Feels Like Chaos

5 Ways to Generate Momentum… When It Feels Like Chaos

In our business, it’s customary to begin the New Year conversations by checking in on how everyone’s ‘Christmas break’ was. For 3 weeks now we’ve been asking our clients and here’s what we’ve heard:

“What break – I didn’t have one.”

“I’ve had COVID” or “I’ve been in ISO since my kids/partner had COVID.”

“I normally start the year feeling refreshed but I’m exhausted already.”

feeling exhausted

If you’re feeling anything like this, this message is for you. We’ve been stepping leaders through ways they can manage and attend to feelings of resignation (the mood, not the act) and resentment towards whatever stood between the break they so desperately wanted and the reality of these COVID times.

So, here are 5 ways you can begin to shift your perspective, therefore your mood and maintain your momentum in 2022. You have 11 months to roll, so why not make them worthwhile.

1. Accept What’s Happened

It would be pretty easy for you to spend more time lamenting on the break you never had, the injustice of your situation, blaming the system or Government for the predicament you find yourself in. All of this takes precious energy. In our work, we call it ‘opposing’ and it fuels the unhelpful moods that settle into your psyche and keep you stuck.

Here’s what we prescribe – a good dose of acceptance.

This does not mean you have to like what’s happened or what’s happening. What it means is that you recognise how much time and energy you are spending focused on what’s missing, what you cannot control (but want to), what’s unjust and what’s wrong. Accepting means declaring an end to your focus on the negative and being able to recognise that the battle you’re engaging in is robbing you of the very energy you need to get focused for the coming 11 months and lead your people on what might be a precarious trip.

Accepting creates a kind of opening. Opening to the possibility that the year ahead may be at the least a rocky ride. There will be ripple effects within your business, staffing, morale and more. There will be ripple effects in the business climate and supply chain for the foreseeable future. Accepting means being able to ‘go with’ what’s happening and creates a space to ask “so what’s possible here?” Is that not the kind of leadership we need in these fluid times?

2. Flex Your Business Plan

It may be helpful to begin the year by considering the business assets and plans you created in 2021. Great if you have plans to guide you:

How relevant are they this year?

What are you able to move on?

What might you need to pause?

What might you be able to do differently?

How can you innovate to be able to produce results in these strange times?

The mood and attitude you take into conversations matter

As the #1 leader, the mood and attitude you take into these conversations matters.  Engage your team with the spirit of the ‘navigator’, exploring the parts of your map that make sense and then setting sail with experiments to test new ideas that may help you pivot and adjust your course. You might decide your 2021 map needs a tweak.  You might decide that it needs a major rehaul.  Whatever you do, make sure you decide something and help your team re-engage in the delivery of your plan and their related plans in a way that considers the changing context. Inertia is the enemy in times of disruption.

3. Stay Close to Your Customers

For the chaos you might be experiencing inside your business, that could be amplified in the customer space – so make sure you look after them.

How are you communicating with them?

What changes in your business plan might need to be communicated to them?

How often might you need to be in contact with your supply chain and what’s changing with the supply chain that may affect your end customer?

How much thinking have you done in this space to anticipate what the remainder of 2022 might bring?  

How much thinking have you done to anticipate what the remainder of 2022 might bring?

Look a few months ahead – what can you anticipate (not predict) and how might you move into position to be able to manage this?  Remember the Australian Governments lessons on RAT tests – procuring these months in advance would have been a wise move if they’d considered the needs of their customers. Rant complete.

What kind of relationship would you really like to cultivate with your customers in this time?

How well do you understand the changes that they are experiencing and may continue to experience in 2022?

How is it that you and your business can play a role in alleviating their concerns and helping them fulfil what is most important to them?

4. Focus On A Few ‘Wins’

If you reviewed your Business Plan and determined that you need to flex your business to adapt to the changing context within which your business happens, you may have identified areas of focus where you can invest time and resource and at the same time you may have identified areas where it’s wise to pause and assess.

The prospect of finishing this calendar year without a couple of big wins can be deflating so, what big wins are possible for you and your team, and which of these do you want to attend to and direct an appropriate amount of time and resource? 

Big wins for 2022

By directing the time and energy of your staff into the most valuable work, you can simultaneously move the organisation forward and boost morale. Imagine a series of milestones in 2022 that are possible, and which make the biggest difference to your business.

Imagine how your team will feel when they are able to deliver these wins and feel as though they have achieved something extraordinary in a difficult climate. 

5. Drive Efficiency and Accountability

It may seem counterintuitive to be driving accountability in an unpredictable business climate. However, once you decide on your areas of focus in the spirit of possibility, the next step is to ensure that your team have all the skills and capabilities required to be able to appropriately scope work, delegate and coordinate the delivery of such work in a way that it meets your targets. Establish discrete Programs of Work and get your people focused.

Effective team coordination skills are fundamental to be able to deliver on what you’ve identified. Make sure your team have the planning, design, and delivery skills in place. This includes making effective requests, securing reliable commitments, and holding each other accountable to the commitments they make.

plan, design and deliver skills for your team

If you really want to supercharge your business in 2022 then consider up skilling your team members to be able to efficiently and effectively coordinate action through the requests, offers and commitments they make. If you’d like to know more about this, click here for our Online On Demand Program – Drive Team Accountability.

Are you up for the challenge we offer here?

Will you succumb to the unhelpful story that has you down in the dumps and despairing about all that’s missing? Or will you rise above this and take this year by the horns, invest in a helpful narrative, show up in a constructive mood and drive focus and accountability when you need to most?

If you need any further support in order to do this, the Foundations Program is open for committed leaders to be able to transform their mindset and mood in 2022.

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