To get to where you want to go… be where you are

Scripture of the Week – Ecclesiastes 3:1-14 (excerpt): “There is an occasion for everything…I have seen the task that God has given people to keep them occupied. He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also put eternity in their hearts, but man cannot discover the work God has done from beginning to end. I know there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and enjoy the good life…

Subscribe here for the weekly blog or here for the weekly podcast so we can help you along your journey. Also, for this week’s content, here’s a shout out to Peak Performance by Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness – we mention this in our podcast and is a backdrop to discuss our own experience with seasons and rhythms.

Life and work has taught us to get where you want to go, you must be where you are. This paradox guides a deep acceptance of reality and contentment in every circumstance (Philippians 4:12),which most people fail to understand. The Consultant (Josh) has a family member (maybe we all do?) who embodies the very opposite. They are so stuck in a previous part of their life, they are unable or unwilling to see the reality of their family right in front of them and adjust their behavior or expectations accordingly. We’ve seen countless examples in business just like this – Kodak and Blockbuster to name a couple – missed obvious market changes right in front of them. But its so easy to judge and miss it ourselves. What season are you in? What rhythms guide your daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, seasonal and annual living? By accepting the current season you are in (ie reality) you will paradoxically enable yourself to achieve your goals or dreams. 

So what is a season? Simply put – its any period of time. There are several mentioned in our Ecclesiastes passage this week. We find seasons in many different areas of life. We have weather seasons, sports seasons, business seasons, and of course longer seasons of life (childhood, young adult, parenting, grandparenting, etc). One of the first topics we address with our coaching and consulting clients is to honestly assess the current seasons of their life and the likelihood they are equipped with the necessary time, focus and resources to achieve success.

Josh (The Consultant) was working with a Founder/CEO who had an incredible vision for building a transformative healthcare model which had the potential to improve tens or even hundreds of thousands of lives. However, his inability to accept the current reality in several dimensions of his personal life handicapped the ability to realize the vision. From a resource perspective, he had zero personal net worth (including no home equity) having spent it somewhat nobly on things like his children’s education and a low credit score from running up personal debt. He had several family issues including the decision to hire his son as the business manager who by the founder’s own admission, was ill equipped to actually run the business. He left a previous practice to start the new business which resulted in being mired in an expensive non-compete lawsuit for over a year which drained most of the resources from the business. When COVID hit and outpatient surgeries were halted, the team failed to fully embrace a pivot to a virtual model. Finally, the founder struggled with some other character flaws which presented as lying and refusing to pay bills until lawsuits were threatened. The only reason this company made it through is because of the opaque nature of healthcare allowed them to charge payers astronomical sums of money and collect just enough to keep the lights on and doors open.

While some of this is outside a person’s control, there is an important lesson here in terms of accepting reality. By accepting the reality of our own finances, our own family, our own capabilities and our own character flaws, we can better ground ourselves where we are. And in knowing where we are, will radically allow us to reach our desired destination. 

Another aspect to accepting reality is that God who is steadfast made us as seasonal creatures – possibly so we might learn to rely upon Him. Even God rested on the seventh day after creating for six days. We are capable of daily work only after we sleep and weekly progress after we Sabbath (not the other way around). We work with our clients to assess their balance in life including recovery. Its one thing to go all out in work or physical effort but without proper time to recover, its simply not possible to keep up this performance. The Coach (Erik) had a client who was struggling to maintain performance. However, when assessing their eating and sleeping (the work level was sufficient), it turned out the client was not eating enough calories or getting enough sleep. By eating more and sleeping more, their performance jumped to new heights. Sometimes, resting and eating is the right answer.

Finally, we believe leaders can embody the character of a God who is steadfast by becoming steadfast leaders for their teams, families and communities. There are countless examples of athletes who have obsessed about their daily routines from what time they get up, what they do, when they do it and what they eat to achieve heights of success. What might we learn from this? In addition to being seasonal, we can also exhibit an aspect of being steadfast in the midst of our seasonal living.

So what are some ways The Consultant and The Coach help their clients deal with seasons and rhythms? Here are some insider tips:

The Consultant

  • What is at least one daily routine you can complete every day no matter how difficult or chaotic the world around you may become? What is your daily anchor?
  • What is one weekly sabbath/rest practice you can implement?
  • How well do you understand the current seasons in which you find yourself in terms of life and business? How does accepting this help you better see the path to your vision?
  • For your business seasons – how well do these support a healthy company culture and performance? What could change or be improved? How do you adopt better norms which reflect your company values?

The Coach

  • Most people can do two things really, really well – what are your two things? 
  • Take time off – times of fun and freeing your mind can result in discovering new perspective
  • Assess your level of self-discipline and need for community to support you
  • How can you apply routines that prepare you and your teams to become better, more balanced leaders?

Thanks everyone! We hope this gives you some tools for success in whatever seasons you find yourself.  Subscribe here for next week’s blog post.