How do you recover from a $2 million dollar setback?  Where do you find perspective when decisions feel high risk?  What do you do to deal with the constant demands in your life?  

These are big questions and the answers are clearer than you may think.  In Season 1 of my podcast, Mojo Mondays Bootcamp, my guests shared their stories of overcoming significant challenges and their strategies to get to the other side.  Step 1: cultivate resilience by activating a growth mindset, a topic I discussed in my last post.  Step 2: initiate specific behaviors that will move you closer to your goals. 

Here are three strategies from their playbooks to help you develop actions that make a difference.

Embrace Agility:  Little tweaks transform outcomes.  We see this in project management where agile is an iterative approach that directs people to work in short time frames and continuously evaluate and adjust based on the feedback and results.  As my guests demonstrated, you can apply this same strategy to your personal and professional life. 

Jay Klein, Gum Disruptor & Founder of The Pur Company, entered the gum industry surrounded by a lot of skepticism and plenty of curiosity.  His initial product turned out to be an expensive experiment, but he learned from it, made some changes and climbed out of a $2 million dollar hole one pack of gum at a time.

Aditi Javeri Gokhale, CCO & President Investment Products & Services, Northwestern Mutual, left India, moved to the U.S. to attend MIT, and immediately felt overwhelmed by everything around her.  She called her Dad asking to go home, and he told her she could return to India on one condition: Give it one month. Knowing  she had the option to go home in just 30 days rather than looking ahead to her entire college career made it easier for her to handle the challenge of staying at school. 

Samara Cohen, Co-Head of ETF Markets & Investments, BlackRock, found her voice by experimenting and reflecting. After giving a high profile speech where she noticed people in the  audience on their phones and checked out, she was devastated and met with an executive coach to review her style and presentation skills. Her coach helped her discover small changes she could make to transform and connect with her audience.  

What adjustments can you make to change your outcome?  What small step can you take to get closer to your goal?

Reframe Risk-Taking:  We all have different levels of risk tolerance. My guests show that one way to manage it is by adjusting how you look at the decisions you face and the possible impact and opportunity of each one.

Jay Klein, Gum Disruptor & Founder of The Pur Company, does not back down when a decision makes him feel uneasy. He has learned to reframe the feelings that come with risk by recognizing that growth and comfort do not co-exist. However, if he finds himself unable to sleep at night, that’s the sign that he may be taking on too much risk and it’s time to consider alternatives.

Caroline Tsai, Chief Legal Officer at Western Union, feared making the wrong choice when considering a career shift from a law firm to an in-house position in another state.  After sharing her dilemma with her uncle, he asked:  What’s really at risk?  This was coming from a man who had arrived in the US without speaking the language, without a job, and with a family to support. His question and perspective helped Caroline recognize her narrow point of view, and, by looking at the big picture, she discovered the risk was low and the decision was clear.

What risks are you facing?  What are you willing to do to get out of your comfort zone and grow?

Be Selective with Your Time: You may be a busy person, but are you truly productive and moving closer to what matters most?  If you step back and really look at what takes up each minute of your day, you may find there’s room for improvement.

Aditi Javeri Gokhale, CCO & President Investment Products & Services, Northwestern Mutual, values her time and invests it wisely.  Whenever she says yes to something that takes her away from spending time with her family, that alternative must be impactful and fulfilling.    

Sheryll Pang Yu, Journey from Teenage Single Mom to TigerKubz Founder, reminded us that it’s equally important to carefully select who gets your time. The company you keep matters.  They define you by impacting your thoughts and your behavior. Recognize that not everyone is looking out for your best interests, so surround yourself with positive people and remove the toxic ones in your life. It’s amazing what you can accomplish once you shed the negative forces and energy depletions from your life.  

What criteria do you use when considering demands on your time and energy?

I hope these strategies, stories, and questions are helping you figure out your next step to activate your mojo.  Thanks to my Mojo Mondays Podcast guests who so openly shared their experiences and their playbooks.  If you missed any episodes from Season 1, you can listen to them at iTunes, Spotify or wherever you enjoy your podcasts.

In the meantime, if you want to learn how to support your leaders to cultivate the mindsets, behaviors and tools needed to kick start their MOJO, let’s connect.