I am not a huge basketball fan, but let me sit court-side, and the game comes alive! The sights and sounds of the game pale in comparison to feeling the floor vibrate under twenty, size-15 feet sprinting down the polished maple wood floor and the rush of air pushed forward by a wall of racing competitors.
But, when the one player stops to pivot, the game slows down. The player stops dribbling, anchors one foot, and rotates in an effort to make a shot at the basket or pass to a team member. When this happens, I seek out more entertainment from the team’s mascot. When I can’t find the mascot, I think of Jenny Blake’s book, Pivot: The Only Move that Matters is Your Next One. Blake lays out a four-stage process for pivoting toward what is next.
Blake’s stages for navigating work-related transitions:
- Plant: This first stage is an opportunity for you to acknowledge your strengths. Blake suggests “doubling down on what’s already working.” Rather than planning years out, she recommends “setting a clear one-year vision.” (I encourage you to connect with Jacquie Fedo of Coaching410; ask about Best Year Yet® strategic planning and digital coaching series.)
- Scan: The Scanning stage allows for thoughtful preparation especially with focus on relationships, expertise and opportunities. This is a time for connecting where you are now and where you are going. This official “bridging the gap” phase seems to take the pressure off and grants permission for specific activities that don’t yield income immediately.
- Pilot: Preliminary offers, real-life practice, and trial runs characterize this stage. This is when you try out your ideas. Efforts are “small experiments to reduce risk and test new ideas.” Returning to the basketball analogy, this is like shooting baskets during a practice game. Rim shots are expected. Plan on chasing down those rebounds!
- Launch: This is usually when I say, “Yikes!” However, if you have progressed through the first three phases, a solid foundation exists: relationships fortified, risks minimized, and strategic plans tested. “Pulling the trigger” or “going all in,” as Blake proposes, then “requires commitment even in the face of remaining uncertainty.”
For me, pivoting through life’s transitions is far more exciting than watching a point guard spin on his toes. When I think about the chances a player takes on a game-winning shot, I realize I would much rather go all in doing something I want to and am prepared to do! (Just ask my husband how long it took me to make a basket from the Denver Nuggets’ court.) In which of Blake’s four stages are you? Which stage requires more effort or commitment? What have you already achieved?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Michelle Sugerman (PMP, PCC) is a speaker, author, and leadership coach with Leading Synergies. She founded Synergy Groups, virtual masterminds connecting all Christians, everywhere, for the purpose of Community, Accountability, Transformation, and Leadership. She also partners with high-performers and heirs-apparent especially in the STEM industries. Michelle’s formal background in technology, franchise, and project management gives her an edge on implementing best practices and scaling towards sustainable success. Michelle lives in Colorado where she hikes fourteeners and enjoys gourmet meals with her loving husband of 23 years.