Three Important Questions to Ask Yourself
By Neena Newberry, MBA '92
A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to hear from several leaders at the national Women’s Foodservice Forum (WFF) Conference through panel discussions, keynote speeches, and breakout sessions. This year’s theme was “Aspire Higher.” Their wisdom and reminders prompted me to ask you these three questions this week:
1. Are you “living” your goals?
Carin Stutz, CEO of Cosi and WFF Chair, kicked of the conference by challenging us to think about whether we are truly “living” our goals. If you’re like most, you may get caught up in the day-to-day flurry of life, and not stop to evaluate whether your goals and actions are in synch. Even taking 5 minutes to reflect about this can raise your awareness and help you recognize major gaps. If some do exist, identify one step you can take to move in the right direction. For example, many of my clients carve out time each week to reflect (even if it’s just starting with 15 minutes), to help them maintain their focus.
2. How often do you accept help?
Karen Williams, executive director of strategy implementation at Applebee's Services, Inc., advised, “When someone offers to help, be brave enough to take it.” Especially for those of you high performing women who are used to being self-reliant and self-sufficient, it can take a lot of courage to do this.
Think about what prevents you from asking for or accepting help. Maybe you don’t want to impose or be viewed as incapable? Or you have perfectionist tendencies? Keep in mind that allowing others to help is not just about you. When you accept help, you give others the opportunity to make a difference, develop their skills, or get exposure--things that matter to them.
3. Do you have a sustainability plan?
One of the speakers talked about the importance of a “sustainability plan.” I have to say this was the first time I had ever heard anyone use the term for an individual versus an organization. But when I think about it, it makes a lot of sense. At the end of the day, this is about heading down a path that will give you the opportunities you want but will also be sustainable.
What will you do to maintain focus on what matters most to you personally and professionally? What is your game plan to make sure you that have the support you need, get enough sleep and exercise, and proactively manage your energy?
As always, I want to challenge you to identify one small step you can take in one of the three areas above. You know I’m a firm believer that small steps can lead to big results.
Neena Newberry is an executive coach and consultant with operations in Dallas and Houston. She is the president of Newberry Executive Coaching and Consulting LLC and has over 17 years of experience coaching and advising clients in midsize to Fortune 500 companies. She works with high performing managers and leaders to get even better results and specializes in working with women in dual career families. Sign up for her’s weekly articles by visiting the top right-hand corner of her company home page.