AALL Spectrum

AALL Spectrum | January/February 2016 | Volume 20, Number 3

AALL Spectrum / Published by American Association of Law Libraries

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JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2016 | AALL SPECTRUM 35 Choose to be seen as a catalyst for change. Face the fog of uncertainty with courage. Suggest possible paths forward with confidence to help stay out front of the ambiguities of your world. as to the organizational needs. In the last positions I held before starting my own business, I took stock of my work twice a year before my biannual reviews with my boss. I found some quiet time to look at what most energized me and what most drained me about my work. ere were tasks I liked to do and obligatory duties I detested. Looking deeper, I always found that some things that excited me early in a particular position bored me over time. Yet other projects would li my spirits, activating my curiosity and willingness to give extra time and effort to the work. I would use this information to determine what was the best use of my time and skills. I would share this information with my boss and ask if we could explore ways to keep me at my peak of productiv- ity. is also meant looking at how to delegate or offload tasks that depleted my motivation. If you consistently produce good results, your boss is more likely to discuss ways to shi your workload to keep you energized and committed. In turn, this shi will help you continue to produce good results. It is a win-win for everyone. Sometimes you will want to rede- sign your role instead of just shiing the weight of tasks that you perform. If you find that you have lost your sense of purpose and the work does not feel fulfilling anymore, don't assume you have to quit. I have had clients who have designed new positions for them- selves that played to their emerging needs, passions, and talents. Some sold their ideas to their leaders. Others presented their ideas and then their leaders came up with opportunities © 2016 BY MARCIA REYNOLDS Dr. Marcia Reynolds works with clients around the world who seek to develop effec- tive leaders. She has coached leaders; delivered leadership, coaching, and emotional intelligence classes; and spoken at conferences for clients in 35 countries. Excerpts from Outsmart Your Brain, Wander Woman, and her latest, The Discomfort Zone: How Leaders Turn Difficult Conversations into Breakthroughs have appeared in many places including Harvard Management Review, Fast Company, CEO World, Forbes.com, CNN.com, and Psychology Today and she has appeared on ABC World News. Her doctoral degree is in organizational psychology with a research emphasis on the challenges and needs of high achievers in today's organizations. they hadn't considered that still met their needs. Look for things that are falling through the cracks in your organiza- tion, either in internal processes or in relationships with clients and stake- holders. Is there anything that would address these problems that you would enjoy doing? Maybe you can start doing some of these tasks in a small way to test your appetite for the work. en if the opportunity feels real and needed, and you look forward to doing these tasks, approach your boss about designing a new position for you. Make it known that you want a new challenge and how your talents and skills could meet an existing organiza- tional need. You might need to ask for what you want more than once but it is worth the effort to keep trying. Feeling that your work has meaning and purpose will increase your happiness as well as your value. Remember that your job isn't fixed in time. Even if the changes you can make are small, they will help you stay motivated to do your best work. Regularly do a self-audit of tasks and responsibilities that both energizes you and drains you. Identify specific things you used to enjoy but no longer have any spark for you. en work with your boss to keep your position alive and fulfilling. Also, consider taking a vacation before you do your planning. It is good to take a break to expand your per- spective. You might be too tired right now to discern what you love from what makes you miserable. Give your- self time to recuperate from the grind. Stay away from email as long as you can. Eat well. Exercise. Get a few nights of good sleep before you sit down to reflect. e clarity will bring new ideas to your planning. No one expects you to happily spring out of bed every day, but if you are resetting your alarm two or three times before dragging yourself out of bed, it's time to make a change. It might be much easier than you think to change your current role than to secure a new one that will fulfill all your needs. e grass isn't always greener somewhere else. You can shi your job, increase your visibility, and identify new paths to help keep your organization successful today. is increases your power and significance whether you want to stay put or move up the ladder. ¢ Ideas for this article were first explored in the book, Wander Woman: How High-Achieving Women Find Contentment and Direction by Marcia Reynolds (San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler, 2010). MARCIA REYNOLDS, PsyD, MMC PRESIDENT Covisioning LLC Phoenix, AZ Marcia@outsmartyourbrain.com www.outsmartyourbrain.com

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