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What to do When You’re Stuck

| March 13, 2012

by Jim Bruce

Today’s Tuesday Reading is “What to do when you’re stuck is from Margaret Heffernan’s blog atCBS News.  Heffernan has been CEO of five businesses in the United States and United Kingdom.  A speaker and writer, her most recent book Willful Blindness was shortlisted for the Financial Times Best Business Book 2011.

Heffernan begins by noting that leaders always face difficult, sometimes intransigent problems, and sometimes get stuck.  She suggests several ways to get unstuck:

1.  Stop working – our natural tendency when we get stuck is to keep working on it.  Stop!  Finding a new approach means you have to do something new.

2.  Do something completely different – spend time looking out your window, take a walk;  even a slight physical movement can get you unstuck.

3.  Have a conversation (not a meeting) – talking about the problem, articulating what you are actually working on can actually change the problem.

4.  Ask for help – seek out additional ideas.

5.  Go to sleep – get a good night’s sleep, give your mind an opportunity to work on it, and wake up alert and ready to continue.

6.  Remember – don’t panic.  You’ve been here before .  Rember your past successes and the confidence they generated.  And, keep up your nerve and keep going!

All good advice that we can begin to practice right now.

I hope that I will see you in Chicago at the IT Leaders Conference this June.  I’d love to talk with you about how you apply the Tuesday Readings to your work. 

.  .  .  .     jim