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What to Do When You’re Inside the Box

Lead Star, August 30, 2020


Our aim at Lead Star is to support you in seeing the nuances of our current reality and help you navigate it with a leader’s mindset.  Acknowledging and accepting reality of the constraints of living (and leading) through a pandemic is Step #1.

The next step is to understand how to influence and inspire in this box that has been built around you.  You’ve likely heard the unorthodox phrase of “thinking inside of the box,” a twist on the phrase “thinking outside of the box.”  Essentially, what it means is that you embrace the constraints around you.  That doesn’t mean you halt your creative and problem-solving abilities; not at all!  Those are on demand right now.  Knowing the boundaries in which you can maneuver allows you to reign in the “What Ifs” of life and focus on the “Here I am … Now what am I going to do?” that promotes a bias towards action and invention.  (Kind of like when you were a kid and it was raining outside.  Your boring old couch looked suddenly like raw building materials for an impressive fort!)

To support you in thinking inside the box, here are some great questions to ask yourself:

  • What are the constraints in my life right now?  (Perhaps you’re experiencing budget pressure, or you’re feeling time for handling demands you didn’t have prior to Covid.)
  • What do I need to stop doing to be best able to meet the challenges of today?
  • What do I need to start doing differently in response to these constraints?
  • If this is going to be my life for the next year, what do I want to become better at during this experience?  (Think whole life … not just work!)
  • How can I use this experience to further goals I have or grow?  (Courtney’s lesson is flexibility, Angie’s focusing on well-being.)
  • How can I shift my focus to what I can do … not what I can’t do? (When you embrace constraints and can work within them, that’s when innovation happens.)

Despite the context we find ourselves in, we hope answers to these questions can liberate you, mentally, and set you on a productive course by helping you think about controlling the controllables.

And, here’s the deal: The only thing we can really control in life is our thoughts and actions.  The great thing, though, is that’s exactly what leaders do.  They focus on the very few things they can control, then a few more things they can influence, and they let go of the rest to allow for joy in the journey.

We’re here with you!

Angie and Courtney

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