If I were to place one image here, a ‘swoosh’ that looks something like a happy go lucky check-mark, you would instantly recognize it – the Nike logo. You would also call to mind their slogan, ‘Just Do It.’ My interpretation of that slogan is that they are calling us to just get started, get practicing, get swinging, get running, get physical, and enjoy life – using their products, of course!

Enjoying life includes enjoying the workplace since it takes up so much of our time but work can be a stressful environment. We work with all types of people in all types of situations. It’s easy to get stressed or upset when others react in a way that is in conflict with our own beliefs, established policies or they simply fail the common sense test. Of course, it’s not always ‘the other guy’ who creates the conflict. It could easily be us and we may not even realize it.

Either way, holding on to these ‘issues’ without letting go breeds resentment and stress, creating a caustic environment and a divisive culture. So if you find yourself in this situation, what can you do?

Some time back, The World Observer noted 15 things that will help you deal with issues that can make life, and in this case your job, a lot easier and you much happier. Here are a handful of those insights along with my own comments from a succession planning perspective:

  1. Give up your need to always be right. So many of us can’t stand to be wrong. We always want to be right – even at the risk of jeopardizing relationships. This causes stress and emotional pain, for others and ourselves. Sometimes it’s a behavioral trait that drives us or it may be a harsh history that we continue to relive. As an owner or manager, give others the opportunity to make decisions on their own but don’t be judgmental when they don’t work out. Talk it over, allow them to learn from their mistakes, and move on.
  2. Give up your need for control. The need for control is often rooted in fear, and those of us who need to be in control are looking for certainty in a very uncertain world. Since this will generally drive us crazy (and those around us, as well), learn to give up your need to always control everything that happens to you and around you – situations, events, people, etc. Remember, eventually you will not be running the show and you must prepare your successor(s) to function without your input and control. Learn to delegate and let go.
  3. Give up on blame. Give up on your need to blame others for what you have or don’t have, for what you feel or don’t feel, or for what has or hasn’t happened. Granted, it’s not easy. If you told me of your difficulty, conflict, or mistreatment from someone, there is a good chance I would see why you would want to blame them but it does no good to do so. Find a solution, not a scapegoat.
  4. Give up complaining. Give up your constant need to complain about those many, many things – people, situations, and events that make you unhappy, sad and depressed. Nobody can make you unhappy and no situation can make you sad or miserable unless you allow it to. If there are issues that need to be fixed, then fix them! Get your team together to solve problems together. It builds teamwork and promotes collaboration. At the same time, approach issues with a positive attitude. Your company culture is built from the top down, starting with you, and a positive attitude is contagious.
  5. Give Up Your Resistance to Change. Change is good but if you’ve been running the business for 30+ years, it may be difficult to embrace. Markets change. The economy changes. Business models change. Competition changes. Businesses need to grow and sometimes evolve to survive and thrive. Change will help you move from A to B. Change will help you make improvements in your work, your life and also the lives of those around you. Just because you’ve done it a certain way for many, many years doesn’t make it the best way or even the right way. Ask for suggestions from your team. Embrace change – don’t resist!
  6. Give up your excuses. A lot of times we limit ourselves because of the many excuses we use. Instead of growing and working on improving our business, ourselves and our lives, we get stuck, lying to ourselves, using all kind of excuses – excuses that 99.9% of the time aren’t even real. There are two kinds of people in the world: those who push excuses out of the way; and those who embrace excuses as a reason for not moving beyond obstacles. Which kind of person do you want to be? Are you going to plan for your future and the future of your business now or find an excuse and just let it happen on it’s own?
  7. Own Your Own Life. This one is from me. You only have one life. Don’t wake up 10, 20, or 30 years from now and wish you had lived it differently. Embrace your life now and effect change in it if you aren’t happy. Work isn’t everything even when it feels like it’s consumed your entire life. Start planning for the future and begin letting go. In other words, ‘Just Do It!’

 Sign up for our monthly e-newsletter to stay informed on how to overcome related succession planning issues.