Competitive swimmers must stay in a prescribed lane during the race. It’s actually a violation to get out of your lane.
Business professionals occasionally have a hard time defining their lane and staying in it. This often happens when an individual is asked to step into a supervisory or management role. Several things might occur:
- They embrace the promotion and adequately shift gears (change lanes) to work on becoming a good manager.
- They take the role, but stay in their old lane, trying to still be a contributing worker when the real need is for team supervision.
I was talking with a new contact who was relaying his job history. He shared the fact that at one point he had been promoted into management. That chapter of his career did not end well. He reverted to sole contributor mode and became a very successful professional, outside of any supervisory duties. He said he loved being his own boss again (although he has a real boss). The fact was, he hated being a manager. It was not his “thing”.
The root of this phenomenon has to do with passion and purpose. Finding your lane and staying in it is about seizing an understanding of your purpose.
We’re all wired differently. The strengths we have help to define our purpose. When you accurately identify your strengths, and follow the pursuit for using those strengths, things get easier. Your purpose emerges and you can see a better definition of your own, personal swim lane for life.
When we attempt to operate with our weaknesses, life seems hard. Conflict is everywhere. Our energy levels are low. We get tired and frustrated far too often. Our purpose seems muddled and unclear.
Reverting to our strengths gives us energy. You seldom get tired of operating inside your set of strengths.
Using my new friend’s example, being a supervisor was not his strength. He hated it because he just didn’t want to deal with the people and their perceived problems all day. He felt far more comfortable, no energized, doing his own work, growing his book of clients, and making a difference for his company as a sole contributor.
Finding your swim lane means finding your purpose.
[shareable cite=”Doug Thorpe” text=”As you live life on purpose, you make better, more meaningful contributions.”]As you live life on purpose, you make better, more meaningful contributions to your work, your family, and your community.[/shareable]
[reminder]If you need help finding your swim lane, write me here.[/reminder]