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Pivot!


After a few meetings over the last couple of days where this topic kept coming up, I decided to review and distribute this post again. The original post came out in April of 2020 right after COVID19 put much of the world on lockdown. Now different kind of 'market conditions' may for some, again indicate the need to pivot.


I've been hearing this term a lot lately. I first became familiar with the term "Pivot" when my daughter played basketball in high school. I learned that when a player was being guarded by strong opposing players, a pivot at the right time could free up the player to score. The act of pivoting was always intriguing for me to watch because on the surface it looked like a simple move, but it could change a play or even the game. Pivots also seemed to happen in my seeing, when a player was guarded so heavily that movement wasn't possible. I talked to my daughter about the components of a successful pivot and here's what she told me:


1. You must plant your feet on a spot.


2. Once you plant your feet you can't dribble.


3. While your feet are planted, you must look for what to do with the ball and decide to shoot or pass.


As you consider the current challenges in the market, perhaps it's time for you to pivot (perhaps again). Here's how a pivot might look off the basketball court:


1. Commit to learn. Start with this question: What do I want to do? The question of what you want can be difficult because often those wants are hidden under what everyone else thinks you should want. Your work situation might change because of what is happening in the world markets. Are you prepared to address what happens as a result of those changes? Do current conditions support what you want, or do you need to adjust your plan?

The journey to change begins with you. What would happen if...


2. Don't give in to the urge to "just do something". Stop trying to control what you cannot. Give yourself to the valuable place of introspection. Allow yourself to be still and regain your bearings. You have solved problems and faced storms before, and you will again if you don't 'lose your head.' Admit any disappointments or fears you may have/be experiencing. Then revisit what you want to do with this follow-up question: What skills do I already have that will help move me (or us) closer to a successful outcome within the current circumstances?


3. Look for opportunities that you haven't seen. A change in market might indicate new opportunities if you can look creatively. How do you want to show up in your life or career? If you want to learn a new skill, do it! Consider ways to enlarge or adapt the vision you have for yourself in the future. Is there a business on the horizon, or a new way of seeing your current business? What openings can you exploit in the current market. Could those openings align with where you want to go, even if the route changes? What will your stakeholders require of you a year from now? I challenge you to take the limits off and ask yourself: What can I see from this new vantage point?


Michele Aikens is CEO and Lead Coach of Sepia Prime Communications and Coaching (SPCC). Connect with her via e-mail here.


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