Chances are you woke up this morning, ready to face another day that’s not radically different from the day before or the day before that. An ordinary day with ordinary routines and rhythms. A day during which you’ll methodically maneuver through assignments and projects similar to ones you’ve tackled before. You’re comfortable enough with the ordinariness of it all until something very out-of-the-ordinary happens. You get an unexpected “wake-up call” that shakes you out of your sleepy routines and makes you take stock of, well, everything! You get the sense that this is a moment of reckoning, a fork in the road where choices must be made and where new paths present themselves. You are at a turning point. What will you do?
A Predictable Path
Let’s face it, we end up leading predictable lives and navigating predictable paths because it’s comfortable to know what’s coming next. We feel in control when our daily challenges require only that we use the “muscle memory” of skills we’ve deployed before to conquer similar situations. We’re going through the motions, day after day, because that’s what life is all about, right? Sure, it can be boring at times; and sure, we feel like we’re in a rut now and then, but what’s the alternative – crisis, chaos, change? No thank you. Change can be uncomfortable, disorienting, stressful. And who needs more of that in their lives?
Enter the Wake-up Call
But then life hits you with an unexpected blow. It shakes you to your core and maybe even knocks you off your feet. Dazed, you stagger to find your footing. Perhaps you even go down for the count – for a while. Until the bell sounds and you get your bearings again.
Of course, I’m speaking metaphorically here. That sucker punch and subsequent wake-up call might be a health scare. It could be COVID or another serious illness. It could be the loss of a loved one. It could be the loss of a job – maybe a corporate realignment that leaves you on the outside looking in. Whatever it is, your wake-up call reminds you that life can be unpredictable. It sometimes forces you to adapt, be flexible, or even to change your perspective and look beyond what has been and look forward to what can be.
How Will You Respond?
Wake-up calls often involve a challenge or crisis. But if you are a sales leadership professional or corporate executive who has risen through the ranks, it’s a good bet that you’ve overcome your share of challenges and crises throughout your career. Still, after decades of success in sales leadership, a life-altering wake-up call could open up new alternatives and ways to respond. In particular, if your career suddenly feels less settled and secure, you may need to consider new professional outlets.
At Sales Xceleration, for example, our rapidly growing ranks of licensed Advisors who serve small to mid-sized clients as sales leadership consultants (frequently as Outsourced VPs of Sales) often come to us because of a wake-up call. No matter the reason, they are open to exploring new challenges and opportunities as they seek a reset for their “second act.” What they find is that they can break free of their suddenly uncomfortable comfort zone and work with a renewed sense of passion and fulfillment. They can continue to use their hard-earned skills in service to others. And they enjoy making a difference to smaller businesses who desperately need and respect their experience.
The Bottom Line:
Of course, the real question is this: Will it take a life-altering wake-up call to shift your mindset and empower you to consider fresh challenges and opportunities? Or will you be more proactive and embrace the possibilities of excelling in sales leadership consulting now?