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Whether we apply leadership to work or to your own ability to be a better leader of you, what do you do when you decide you’re through? Done-ski. Finished. Finito. Maybe you’re through with a person, through with a job, or through being used or talked to in a manner that no longer suits you. Whatever your done dealing with, it might now be time to make a graceful exit. The following steps will help you walk away, help both parties save face and help you transition away from that which has ended.
Step 1: Confirm Your Decision
The Band Perry has a great song called “DONE”. If you’ve not heard it, the You Tube link is here. Their words are poignant when the lead singer says “My momma always told me to play nice, but hadn’t met you when she said this” and maybe this is your situation. You don’t have to be a doormat in life or work. In fact, do you work with someone that you’ve let walk over you, bully you, or treat you poorly long enough? The answer to that question is often not as black and white and clear as it may seem in the heat of an emotional moment. Successful leaders manage those decisions by confirming that their answer is the same even when the emotional moment from the offender’s last action has long passed. Make sure you confirm your decision before you walk away in the heat of the moment.
Step 2: Secure Your Alternatives
Much as most leaders of their own lives and financial well-being would not leave a job before having another one, before saying good bye to your only resource for that skill or intel, find an alternative. Perhaps you’ve had enough of the way the head of accounting always grills you about your reports, but she is the only person who can approve your invoices. Is there anyone else that is able to provide that approval to you? If not, you may wish to reconsider, or work harder at finding an alternative. This even has application outside of work. If you bank at one location and every visit makes you mad, ask yourself just how much negativity and toxicity you’re willing to lead yourself through and allow into your life? Is there not an alternative to this service that will have less strain and drain on your well-being? Are you willing to do what it takes to find or create that alternative to your current situation?
Step 3: Avoid Burning Down the Bridge
Leaders, both of their own lives and of a team at work, have usually learned one common theme. What you say out loud is not the same as what you might have said in your head. While you may be through, done, over it, and even sick to death of dealing with this person, place, or thing, it might be best if you just left, without saying a thing. It could be a question of how you’d like to be remembered. It could also be a practical matter of whether or not you’ll need their services later. Or, it could simply be a powerful way to lead your own energy level, mindset, and behavior. What good does it do, when you’ve decided you’re through, to eviscerate the person where they stand, or make a scene? You might feel better and, of course, it depends on what they did, but in the end, it’s an expenditure of energy that in hindsight, you’ll likely decide could have been better spent.
Step 4: Say Thanks for Playing (in your head!)
Once you’ve confirmed your decision that you’re done and found an alternative from the person or place you wish to walk away from, it’s time to move on and more importantly to stop complaining. I find this is most effectively done when you mentally say “thanks for playing”. Just recently, I found myself complaining about someone with whom I’d done business in my personal life for about ten years. TEN years I’d made a habit of complaining about “having” to do business with them, when the truth of the matter is I didn’t want to do what it would take to find the alternative. For most people, no truer statement can be said: “You’ll make a change when the pain of staying the same is worse than the pain of changing”. The key is to then, IN YOUR HEAD, find that alternative, move on, make peace with the change and simply and quietly, say “thanks for playing”.
Leaders make a myriad of tough decisions in work and in life. They don’t like change as much as anyone and yet, they know that the easiest thing to do is to stay the same. What’s best for you is not always easy. What will get you where you wish to lead your life is not always easy. Deciding you’re though and doing what it takes to break through, is not always easy. These steps will make it easier.
I’m Monica Wofford and that’s your Monday Moment. Have a great week, an even better Monday, and of course, stay contagious! (or visit www.ContagiousCompanies.com to find out more about what that means! hehe!)