Getting Unstuck

We all get stuck, particularly those of us who try to help others get unstuck.

I know when I’m getting stuck when I find myself repeating the same message in creative new ways. It means I’m not moving on, I’m making camp.

Amongst those I know are those who notice, who can’t be fooled, will call me out and move me on. I value them enormously.

Some of them I don’t know personally, but they have a talent for communicating that I get the same kick as if I did.

I was reminded of this listening to Margaret Heffernan on Radio 4 “Thought for the day” on Sunday. A good way to spend ten minutes listening to here challenge the ease with which we accept what we’re told.

Charles Handy has been a mostly unwitting mentor all my working life. A gentle but incisive philosopher of business, I find his work has a way a centring me when I’m stuck.

Rumi, Marcus Aurelius, Antoine de St Exupery. These are just a few amongst many. What I value is their honesty, their lack of lecturing or trying to be right. They question themselves as much as me, and in doing so create a way forward.

In the times we find ourselves in, a search for answers is much less productive than finding those asking great questions.

You don’t have to know them, just make space to spend time with them.

Stuck is mostly a choice

There are different sorts of stuck. Sometimes, things happen – our car breaks down or the weather closes in at the airport, – something outside our control. In observing many people and businesses though, mostly we get stuck in process. We get trapped in the way we think we should do things. In these cases, getting stuck is a choice.

I was reminded of the elevator ads when I read Seth Godin’s latest book  – What to do when it’s your turn”.  The ad is worth taking time to watch (and the book to read). It’s funny, and vaguely uncomfortable. Is your career like an elevator, and if it’s stuck, what will it take you to get off?