The Point of No Return
One afternoon in early 2013 I held my newborn daughter Edie. Like most first time dads, I felt the additional responsibility that a baby’s arrival brings.
Somehow I didn’t feel mentally weighed down by that responsibility. At least, not any more than I felt physically weighed down by the tiny 8lb ball curled up in my arms.
In fact, Edie’s arrival emboldened me. I had been waiting for this. I made a vow to myself, “this is the point of no return”.
For the previous 18 months, I had been unfulfilled in my work and career. Edie was the ignition that the dormant fire in my belly needed.
After reflecting on where I was personally and professionally, alongside many external considerations, I decided to change careers and leave corporate employment.
That was a big transition for me. As was the move from London to Dublin, the ferry trip is captured in the image above. The tools and skills that I’ve used and developed over the years are relevant to many other types of transitions and many other people.
Your life is a series of transitions. The significance of each transition is subjective and circumstantial.
As you move through your 30’s into your 40’s and beyond, you’ll typically perceive that there’s more at stake.
Many of these transitions will have a career focus. You don’t necessarily need to transition careers. But your career will involve many mini-transitions. In recent years the frequency, variety and intensity of these transitions have increased.
- New job
- New boss
- New shareholders
- New team
- New project
- New product line or offering
- New technology
- New partnerships
- New dotted line
My business focuses on helping leaders and their teams navigate these transitions. But not in a ‘change management’ or ‘project management’ kind of way. That’s not our gig.
We help the people involved develop their own best approach. We give them the tools and strategies so they can navigate this transition, learn from it, and then tackle the next one themselves.
The tools and strategies are simply a framework. It doesn’t give them an answer. It gives them an awareness that they can apply to any circumstances.
You and your team can use this framework to understand:
→ Where/how are you today? This is point A
→ Where/how would you rather be? This is point B
→ What needs to change in you, and for you, to transition from A to B
→ Are you up for that journey?
This is a coaching framework called TRIPS™.
Your life and career are a series of transitions. They’re a series of TRIPS – enjoy the TRIPS ahead.
Is TRIPS™ For You?
TRIPS™ helps you zoom out, see the bigger picture and clarify your direction of travel. With a fresh and objective perspective, you then zoom back in and execute your own well-designed plan with conviction and purpose.
The partners in law firms and professional services, the sales managers and directors of ICs in tech firms, the MDs of investment banks and the senior leaders of SMEs all share some or all of the following transitions and challenges.
Maybe you can identify with some?
→ Taking on a wider remit
→ Promotion – preparing for, or adjusting to, it
→ New leadership creating a shift in culture and ways of working
→ Generational transitions bringing new approaches
→ Impact of a merger or acquisition
→ Launching into new territories
→ Forming a new team
→ Incorporating new technology
That’s just a snapshot. My weekly emails speak into the challenges outlined above, and more. Each email gives you a taste of TRIPS™ by providing an idea, tool, tip or exercise for you to apply and help tackle your transitions.
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You can’t tap into the best of others if you can’t tap into the best of yourself first.
That’s why it’s more important than ever to have a way of working and living that fits you, your strengths, circumstances and ambitions.
No one else’s way will work for you. This is your life. Live it.
See your challenges as opportunities for growth and to be at your best.
See your transitions as TRIPS™ to be enjoyed, not journeys to be endured.
How Can TRIPS™ Help You?
TRIPS™ is a framework that gives you the tools to triangulate your position, review your progress, update your direction of travel, and forge ahead with confidence. This is a process that we all need to practice these days.
TRIPS is an acronym, and here’s how and why it will work for you.
STAGE 1 – TIME
Take time out to focus on you. Create space to think, free of noise, distraction and guilt.
STAGE 2 – REFLECT
Reflect on where you are today. What kind of results are you producing? How do they make you feel? What’s working well? What’s niggling at you? We do this by addressing three key areas:
- Balance – how balanced and sustainable is your current approach?
- Strengths – identify and leverage the work-related activities you’re most naturally energised by
- Values – what drives you personally and professionally, the core you, what’s non-negotiable?
You then consolidate your findings on a one-page ‘Personal Blueprint’. This is you at your best over the short-term. Use this to tackle your everyday mini-transitions.
The exercises you complete throw up obvious ‘easy win’ goals. Take advantage of those opportunities with immediate action and enjoy the results. Build on the momentum. Make agility, progression and improvement part of your routine.
STAGE 3 – IDEAL FUTURE
Then you can begin to focus on your bigger transitions.
What does ‘ideal’ look like? We provide you with a tool to help you visualise and articulate how and where you want to be, and when by.
What new results do you want to create? What’s important to you about these outcomes?
STAGE 4 – PLAN THE PLAYBOOK
Work back in milestones. Start to navigate the challenges in advance.
Look to yourself first, what will you do, or aim to develop? If gaps persist, who will help you fill them?
Now you’re ready to set some effective goals. We prefer using the OKR system of:
- Objectives (setting the direction) as measured by….
- a few Key Results.
The Key Results are binary. You either achieve them or you don’t. If you do, then your objectives will be met.
STAGE 5 – START NOW
You have a choice. You’re not obliged to do anything. Your future success is within your control. You’ve threaded your best self through your past, present and future and back to this moment.
Make the change a matter of commitment, not convenience. This is your life.
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TRIPS™ is adaptable for leaders, teams and groups of senior executives. And it’s evergreen, it can be reused in different circumstances.
Our clients include global brands in professional and financial services, leading-edge technology companies and indigenous SMEs in Ireland and the UK.
They each understand that the key to attracting, retaining and developing top-class talent and leaders hinges upon investing in them as people, not just professionals.