“Don’t let the fear of striking out hold you back.”
Comedian Steve Harvey has a video on YouTube where he describes how to take a “jump” and put change into motion in your life.
Leaders must be ready to jump when the timing is right so they continue to grow personally and professionally. The principal opponents to making big jumps in life are security, status quo, comfort, and resistance to change. As we mature in age, position, and experience, we become more comfortable with these “opponents.” There is great solace in enjoying what has become our “new normal” and if you have mastered your job, reached a comfortable status, or have a family that is enjoying their present life, making a jump can be very difficult…at times almost impossible.
So leaders, how do we do it? How do we maintain a presence of mind across our leadership experience that is open to consideration of making a jump that could radically adjust our work life, family life, and overall life experiences?
I think we do it by never becoming too comfortable in our present surroundings. We do it by keeping our eyes and ears open, by always desiring additional leadership experiences and continuous professional growth. We do it by never accepting status quo within our own leadership.
I believe that jumping does not fit for many people. We all have known someone or many someone’s who kept the very same job, in the very same company, in the very same town for their entire professional life. They appeared content, they stayed employed, and they raised their family and they were happy. Humans do enjoy security and this is one strong example of it. There is nothing wrong with this.
A dynamic leader will jump when necessary. I have jumped three major times in my working experience:
- USAF Active Duty to Northrop Aircraft Corporation – 1987
- Northrop Aircraft Corporation to K-12 Education Teacher – 1993
- K-12 Education Leader to USAF Active Duty leadership – 2003
“Set your goals, stay focused and you will succeed.” — Ted Williams (Pilot/baseball great)
Each time I jumped it came with great anxiety, uncertainty, fear, and strong determination to succeed. Luckily, I am married to a wonderful woman who always supported my jumps and we teamed to make them successful. We also have a strong faith that God puts opportunities in our paths that will accomplish His will and we were always willing to follow His lead. In each of these three jumps, my ability to lead others, my awareness, knowledge, and personal confidence were expanded exponentially.
As I look back across my working years and also observe our family now, I see my children have inherited the ability and see the value of jumping; both of them have made highly successful jumps that resulted in increases in responsibility, stature, experience, and challenge. I look fondly at their outstanding personal and professional growth that came as a direct result of their desire and ability to jump.
Are you open to the idea and ready to make a jump along the path of your leadership journey?
This post was originally featured on jetsr.com on April 29, 2014