Three Important Questions to Ask Yourself

I had the opportunity to hear from several leaders at the 2012 national Women’s Foodservice Forum Conference. The theme was “Aspire Higher.” Their wisdom and reminders prompted me to ask you these three questions:

1. Are you “living” your goals?

Carin Stutz, then-CEO of Cosi and WFF chair, kicked of the conference by challenging us to think about whether we are truly “living” our goals. If you’re like most people, you may get caught up in the day-to-day flurry of life and not stop to evaluate whether your goals and actions are in sync. Even taking five minutes to reflect on this can raise your awareness and help you recognize major gaps. If some do exist, identify one step you can take to move in the right direction. For example, many of my clients carve out time each week to reflect (even if it’s starting with 15 minutes) to help them maintain their focus.

2. How often do you accept help?

Karen Williams, executive director, Strategy Implementation at Applebee’s Services Inc., advised, “When someone offers to help, be brave enough to take it.” Especially for those of you high-performing women who are used to being self-reliant and self-sufficient, it can take a lot of courage to do this.

Think about what prevents you from asking for or accepting help. Maybe you don’t want to impose or be viewed as incapable? Or you have perfectionist tendencies? Keep in mind that allowing others to help is not just about you. When you accept help, you give others the opportunity to make a difference, develop their skills, or get exposure — things that matter to them.

3. Do you have a sustainability plan?

One of the speakers talked about the importance of a “sustainability plan.” That was the first time I had ever heard anyone use the term for an individual vs. an organization. But when I think about it, it makes a lot of sense. At the end of the day, this is about heading down a path that will give you the opportunities you want but will also be sustainable.

What will you do to maintain focus on what matters most to you personally and professionally? What is your game plan to make sure you have the support you need, get enough sleep and exercise, and proactively manage your energy? Identify one small step you can take in one of the three areas above. You know I’m a firm believer that small steps can lead to big results.

© 2012 Neena Newberry | All rights reserved.