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Repositioning Yourself For Growth

Don’t be afraid to take one step backwards so that you can move two steps forward.

I am a firm believer in having and building a growth mindset. But growth does not mean being the biggest and the shiniest, it means constantly repositioning ourselves to be relevant, while maintaining the desire and passion to continue moving forward.

For the past decade we have been promoting change management and everything that comes with it, in an attempt to help people realise what life can and will be like moving forward.

Although this has been, and still is, a necessary part of our evolution, it has left many people behind and others failing to cope. The rate of change in the past decade has been so rapid that it has actually created a divide in people that is based on their ability to accept the change and then instantly apply it to their lives. Those who disagree, or are slower to adapt, can be quickly left behind, still struggling with the current change, while the next one is upon them.

Change is good! We have all had to make lots of it. But have we made change when it was unnecessary, or just expected of us, when really, we just need to reposition ourselves?

Repositioning is not about constantly removing the past and starting again, but rather about building on what we have already done so that we can remain relevant.

People often become so overwhelmed and disillusioned with change management because they think they have to strip everything and start again. To do so is neither smart nor effective!

The fact is that when you just change everything, you lose the power of the past.

Things change, but that doesn’t mean you don’t keep and build on what is working.

“So, understand what you need to do differently, understand what you need to quit doing and understand what you need to keep doing.”

This is called Repositioning!


Don’t just make a difference – BE the difference!

To some this might sound like another ‘trite’ motivational quote, but if you stop to consider and then act on this statement, it can literally change what you do, how you do it and what the future could look like.

So often, strategy and activity can over take involvement, participation and action.

We work so hard on planning how things could be different and how things could look, that we fail to take on board Gandhi’s great piece of advice – to become the change we wish to see.

People are influenced by what they see far more than just by what they hear. It is great to strategise and then communicate that strategy, but unless it results in behavioural change by all stakeholders, then it can confuse and disappoint, no matter how good the idea was, or the intention is.

So, if we want to truly make a difference, then we must practice what we preach, lead by example and begin to be the difference on a daily basis.

Double standards are never sustainable!

Don’t give up – build resilience

I have been in business for many years now and I think I have had to tackle almost every obstacle and challenge in the book, but I have to say 2018 almost broke me. It seemed that the more I did for people and the more I gave, the more I was attacked and for a short time I became disillusioned. To be honest, I get why people give up!

Sometimes the stress and the pain seem to outweigh the benefits, but the fact is that we always come out the other side, we just need to decide whether we come out battered or better.

But in these times is where RESILIENCE is formed. Resilience is more than just coping, it is when what you have planted over many years presents itself at just the time it is needed.

No matter what you do, someone will criticise you for it, so do what you believe is the right thing!


Remember, those who cannot do, attack those who can!

So, how much do you believe in who you are and what you do? The less you do, the less you will be attacked, but the more you do, the more you will be attacked. We need to FLIP our thinking and realise, criticism is a privilege because it makes you evaluate the situation and decide if you will react or respond. When we choose to respond, we build resilience.

If you truly want to be that difference, then see toxic criticism for what it really is. I have always believed that if you are not rocking the boat, then you are not making a big enough difference.

Start to build resilience by practicing the art of bouncing back.

Be BRAVE & trust your gut brain

Everyone is telling us to be brave, but what does that really mean? Some people say it is about stepping out on a limb and maybe even being reckless, well that is not my understanding of it.

For me, being brave is having such a strong belief in something that we allow it to determine our actions rather than our actions being determined by the court of public opinion.

This concept plays a massive role when we are looking at Repositioning.

If your belief and passion for what you do is not strong, then you will get caught up in that cycle of change that does nothing to move us forward and you will be affected by the criticism that people dish out.

So, being brave is not a special event, it is simply matching our actions with our passions and beliefs and living them out on a daily basis.

Be brave and trust your gut brain, because it is very rarely wrong.


Action precedes clarity 

Peter Sheahan in his book – Flip, states that action precedes clarity. In other words, no plan will ever be perfect so we must actually step into the unknown before we can discover the answers.

In other words, do something, or nothing will happen!

There is no such thing as perfection, so what are you waiting for? The more we act, the less we react.

What are those things that you are still just thinking about? Make them happen.

I work with hundreds of organisations and thousands of leaders every year and 80% of the things that they complain about, or the challenges that they experience, are all about fear – not being prepared to just step out and do something until their strategy or framework is perfectly in place. This is called procrastination!

Well, here is a piece of advice that I give leaders every time this scenario occurs

Life doesn’t work that way. Nothing will ever be perfect, and unless you step out and do something, you are in fact stopping the progress of a potential game changing idea.

“You do not need a framework for everything. You do not need a perfect strategy for everything. Just step out and do something, because that is when you will gain clarity.”


Be prepared to be vulnerable

One of the greatest challenges to success is not letting people in. Not allowing people to see the real you.

I don’t expect people to air all of their dirty linen, nor tell us all of their darkest secrets however, if people are always wondering which version of you they will meet today then relationships will be strained and trust will be minimal.

Why is it that we are scared to be vulnerable, to show our ‘real’ self to others?

Some people are just so guarded. They fear that if they let their guard down then they will be hurt or manipulated.

Unless we are prepared to allow the ‘real’ us to turn up, then we will find it almost impossible to BE the difference, to BE brave and to BE action oriented.

Start trusting others more, because when we Reposition ourselves, we will need all of the support around us that we can find.


Some people just simply don’t fit – set them free.

If people do break your trust or they simply don’t want to be a part of what is happening, then set them free. It does absolutely no good whatsoever constantly trying to convince people about how and what could be achieved.

Help them to grow or help them to go!

It is actually a very uplifting experience when we choose to set people free and it usually works out better for both parties.


So, what now?

I love the whole concept of repositioning. It helps me to understand that everything that I do is teaching me and preparing me for what comes next. That I don’t have to get rid of what I have already developed over time, and that what I have done and what I need to do actually go hand in hand.

Repositioning is being open and adaptable to everything that is happening around us, but not being restrained by the expectations of constant change.

Repositioning is about moving the whole picture and the associated actions, not just making a single change.

When we simply reposition ourselves, we more easily become the change we wish to see.

Des Penny is the Founder and Director of Marketing of Proteus Leadership


Proteus Leadership is one of Australia’s premier leadership training and development companies. Proteus Leadership provides leadership courses and management training to a range of industries and assists organisations to build positive workplace cultures, implement change and Create Great Leaders. Proteus also facilitates a range of world-class management courses, workshops, conferences and events across Australia and beyond with the sole purpose of bringing leaders together to connect and grow.

“Our core purpose is to Create Great Leaders that will in turn build Great companies and develop Great teams.”

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