The millions of small droplets of moisture that came together to form an extraordinarily tough layer of ice on my windscreen this morning was stunning. Though thinking about the year ahead I couldn’t help but notice the analogy to never underestimate the power of lots of small things coming together to make something amazing, albeit thick ice in this case. It was early!
It is the time of year when the goals, resolutions, new targets and horizons have been envisioned and set. It’s exciting, often bold and usually big.
However hurtling towards the end of January, sometimes those goals and perhaps even dreams might appear a bit too bold, too big or too exciting. And that’s when we have to up the effort and energy to make progress.
I believe it was Vincent Van Gogh said, ‘great things are done by a series of small things brought together’. Small changes can indeed translate into the most profound successes in your single and wider endeavours – both professionally and personally.
As humans though, we aren’t terribly good at change and inevitably big, bold newness is going to require it. There is a remarkable human reluctance to change and as a great deal of psychological research attests, a monumental amount of discomfort people can tolerate before they acknowledge the need for change.
Change is invariably uncomfortable, even if it’s magnificently for the better, at least at the beginning.
So, in leading the change to follow those goals and ambitions for yourself, your team, your company, ponder the following to help you hone the effort and energy required to manifest them.
• Anchor yourself in the future. Constantly have the big picture in mind especially whilst doing the small things. It will ensure that all the small things are going in the right direction to make the big thing happen.
• Transform your narrative. Many would say that we are our story. Not so much the story of our lives but the story we tell about the role we played in the events. Does it need a re-write?
• Constantly break all your big dreams and goals into smaller more manageable and ultimately achievable actions, which you can do on a daily basis.
• And finally – be here, now. Not one single technique or inner evolution is as powerful an antidote to the past and a potential springboard to the future as the capacity to be in the present in the here and now.
Staying fresh, evolving and being current looks seamless and often effortless but like the swan there is a huge amount of drive, tenacity and hard work at play, notwithstanding, out of sight.
Jaeger faced bankruptcy three years ago and the first thing that CEO, Colin Henry tackled when he joined in 2013 was to strip the brand back to the foundations and improve quality. In early 2013 there were just 15% of the clothes made in natural fibres now it’s nearly 80%. Small, incremental and daily changes have brought the brand back to its former glory. The last reported quarterly figures state that sales are up 8.3 % and online sales up 78%. For Jaeger, 2015 is looking big, bold and exciting.
And don’t forget, as I rediscovered last night, the powerful maxim of Winnie the Pooh “ Remember, you’re braver than you believe and stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.”
Have a fabulous 2015 and if you would like some assistance with the big, the bold and the exciting, you know where we are.
Kate Tojeiro is an Executive Performance Coach and Managing Director of X fusion.