Recently I met a friend who told me he was very preoccupied. When I asked him what the problem was he unleashed a web of emotions: his business was experiencing a lot of volatility, he was worried about the future, his parents were getting on his nerves, his wife and he were experiencing friction in their marriage, etc.
I told him, ‘Let’s list down all your problems and tackle them one by one.’ We did this and arrived at a long list. Then we started to combine two or more items that were related. Solving one could solve the other. For instance ‘Not having enough investments for the future’ was a problem that could get solved if he tackled another larger problem: ‘Making more money by growing his business.’
So after streamlining the list this way, we now had a smaller, more focused list of problems. In doing this, he had also unwittingly narrowed the list down to his core priorities. I then asked him to examine this fresh list and pick out the one thing that was top of mind. He pointed to ‘Making more money by growing his business.’
We explored that item for a while. It turned out he didn’t want to make an obscene amount of money. He just wanted to earn a comfortable amount on a sustainable basis. He then said, ‘If I make money, everything falls in place. If I don’t, I get depressed and that in turn affects my relationships.’
In one stroke, he had arrived at what I call the Lodestar Priority of his situation: financial security drove a lot of his self-esteem and happiness, and it correlated with many other things in his life.
So I advised him on how to focus on that priority by making a plan to grow his business and then really working that plan diligently. If he did this, everything else – in his own words – would fall in place. He left the meeting with a sense of clarity, purpose and confidence.
We all have a Lodestar Priority.
A Lodestar Priority is connected to our deepest drives, fears and hopes. It is also interconnected with several other priorities in subtle, complex ways. In the case of my friend his Lodestar Priority was the success of his business. If that priority went well, it automatically had a positive domino effect on several other priorities in his life.
What are your Lodestar Priorities? List them down. Track their relation to other priorities in your life. Then chase your Lodestar Priorities relentlessly, and create a positive domino effect in your life.
About the Author:
Sandhya Reddy is a leadership & transformation coach based in Bangalore, India. She is the Founder and Principal Coach at Chapter Two Coaching, a coaching consultancy that enables everyone from CEOs to work-from-home parents to achieve their goals by replacing self-imposed limitations with enabling stories.
Many of us in our thirties experience a disquieting realization: what brought us to middle-management may not take us to senior-management. This is true. To chart a new career path, one needs to think and do things differently. This is where Sandhya can help. She is a coach. Life coaching, executive coaching, business coaching, personality development, leadership coaching… they are all part of her forte. Her Executive coaching programs helps tomorrow’s leaders set new goals, make new plans to achieve those goals, get that elusive promotion through a blend of knowledge, action and image-building, enhance influence among the leadership team, be more productive, get more out of one’s team, and be known in the company as an indispensable performer and future leader.