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Staying on Your Toes
Volume II, Issue 1
Last evening I had the opportunity to attend a recital held for K12 students from Central Virginia. I was so impressed by the ballerinas, who used their toes to navigate easily the stage, poised to take each step with confidence and grace.
Watching this display of talent triggered a few thoughts of my personal experiences as a young tennis athlete. In this situation, the coach always emphasized the importance of being on my toes as it provided greater flexibility and positioning to cover the court for the return and placement of "shots." I continue to stay on my toes playing tennis and it helps to offset declining speed and agility!
Moving along my pathway of success has required and still requires that I stay on my toes, which translates into a state of being prepared. Staying on Your Toes could mean Achieving and falling short of set goals; Building and losing partnerships because the culture of the partners were not understood; Recruiting talent and then watching individuals leave for other employment because of the availability of perceived or actual additional opportunities and resources; Gaining customers (or friendships) and failing to retain them because of limited communication and interaction; and Creating a budget and then exercising poor judgment in generating income for its support. I recommend that Staying on Your Toes be included as one of the cornerstones of your leadership.
Below are a few practices that I strive to embrace to help me Stay on My Toes and you may wish to consider:
1. Connect regularly with a broad base of individuals and organizations that impact your business, volunteer life and professional, personal and family interests
2. Use a portion of each day to learn something new - Attend meetings, participate in webinars, read email alerts from news outlets and communicate with members of my support network
3. Journal and Leverage prior experiences to help guide development of responses to anticipated and possible unanticipated situations and opportunities in daily living
4. Diversify experiences and become a scholar of sensitivities of others - Organizations, individuals, colleagues, staff, family and more
5. Revamp approaches when it appears that there is limited traction from your Staying on Your Toes efforts for responding to matters that enter your life
If you are looking for guidance on building a Stay on Your Toes strategy for you and/or your team, Connect with Marilyn West today - firstname.lastname@example.org.