Many of us grow up learning to “never be a quitter” — We’re taught to … have patience … push through … stay the course … be persistent … uphold our commitments. The quote I hear in my head when I think about quitting is one I heard from a middle school athletic coach:
Well, as it turns out … that’s not always the case. Quitting CAN be a GOOD THING.Sometimes it’s the BEST thing you can do for yourself.Many high performers practice the art of “strategic quitting.” They quit intentionally … with thoughtfulness and deliberation. Quitting in this manner is viewed as a strategic choice … a choice that tightly aligns (1) how we choose to spend our time, with (2) our goals and objectives (work and/or personal goals).
Quitting can be difficult; it’s definitely more difficult than “saying no” at the outset of a request. Quitting, by definition, means you’re already underway with whatever you’ve committed to and must now extract yourself from that activity. You’ve said “yes” at some point in time and feel “invested” in the activity. Combine that with what’s been drilled into our heads about (not) quitting, and it’s easy to understand why too many of us avoid the act of quitting, even when what we’ve committed to no longer serves us well.
BE A STRATEGIC QUITTER:
- Identify those commitments that no longer align with your personal, professional or business goals and seek ways to extract yourself in a polite and respectful manner (give sufficient notice and offer an alternative resource when possible).
- Organizations in which you’re involved
- Meetings that you regularly attend
- Upcoming events that will require significant time commitments
- Relationships that are no longer mutually rewarding or beneficial
- Upcoming speaking engagements
- Board of director commitments
- Inventory your commitments and identify “strategic quitting” opportunities.
- Choose one or two of those to take action on.
- What is one, small, first step you can take THIS WEEK? TODAY?
Quitting in a planned, deliberate and respectful manner exercises your PERSONAL POWER MUSCLE. You’ll notice a sense of positive energy manifesting as a result of flexing that muscle. REDIRECT THAT ENERGY to focus on activities that directly align with YOUR goals and you’ll realize a marked increase in your productivity and organizational impact.
Executive Success Partners…
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