Many situations in life can be exemplified by some facet of college sports. Take, for example, “The Audible”. The definition of an audible is an offensive play called by the quarterback at the line of scrimmage.
When we first think of the term, some may consider an audible an unplanned reaction, or even to go so far as to say a knee-jerk reaction. Quite the opposite is true. There are times in business and life when the course we set out on presents circumstances that are beyond our control, and our path appears blocked or no longer manageable. This is when the audible comes into play. We have the awareness to identify a problem and through experience, we implement a solution.
An audible is a planned move that illustrates our ability to remain tactically agile with the big picture strategies and goals in mind. It is anything but reactionary! It takes training, planning, and strategic thinking. It is our ability to fight for the big picture, with clarity of how each player has a critical role as part of strategy execution. In other words, at the moment we identify that a shift is necessary and we act!.
2020 seems to be one huge audible! In my work, 2020 began with a positive outlook, onboarding new clients, and strategically looking to continue to move the needle. Then COVID19 slammed into the world, impacting all of us, either personally, professionally, or both. Personally, I was laid off, and oh, boy did it sting! And in all my imperfection, I had some pretty negative thoughts about it all. Still, though emotionally wounded by the lay-off, I did not panic. Instead, I paused and chose to focus inward to evaluate what I could have done better while remaining positive for the future. During this time, I continued to study the market, and educate myself by taking several University courses. My intention was to dust off some old skills while simultaneously learning something new. It was a lot of fun! In reflection, it was the best thing I could have done. Six courses later, with amazing support and through many sleepless nights, I was able to “see the field,” although the path was not totally clear.
So, what the hell! I called an audible and made the shift. I wanted to get this game back on track, re-energize my hype squad (me), and persevere. It was time to unleash my instincts and make the play. Several years ago, I set an arbitrary age I thought was the “perfect time” to start my own business. At this age, I would have the necessary experience to deliver value to the market with confidence and success. Oh, and of course I thought I’d be financially winning; my child would be old enough to make his own dinner; and I’d have a partner that would be by my side cheering me on. I may not have those exact pieces of the team in place. However, I have an amazing five-year-old son who is on this journey with me. I have family and friends who I trust and love, and professional peers that are my biggest supporters, whether cheering me along or helping me game-plan. These are the teammates in whom I have faith -- the ones who give me the confidence to call the audible.
We all have found ourselves facing the unexpected. Some of us are facing fear, pain, loss, and more. However, without question, these times will offer opportunity. We all have the ability to identify the moments in which we can and should call the audible; when the circumstances require us to change the play we brought to the line of scrimmage. Sometimes it’s at work. Sometimes it’s at home. And whether the unexpected factor is driven by the economy, illness, family, or some other factor, it is our experience, perseverance, and mindset that allows us to boldly continue forward. In these moments we take back our vision, we own our new path, and achieve our goals. Game ON!