By James McPartland, YPO member
I was told at a young age I had nothing to say and, for many years I believed that story. As time unfolded, I came to understand that the setbacks I’ve experienced in life and business were gifts, bestowed to teach me that I had a whole lot more than just something to say and an obligation to inspire others to an awareness that they had something to say too.
Through my work as an executive coach, time and experience have shown that organizations don’t get stuck — people do, and what they need is a breakthrough. Here is a five-step pathway for breaking through the barriers that have blocked individuals from collectively contributing to the achievement of corporate objectives:
Access performance from the inside out
Lasting professional growth best emerges through personal development. When CEOs and organizational leaders start with this understanding, current levels of the company’s overall performance are elevated through the collective contribution of each team member. Transform the players. Change the game.
Recondition your mind
We have a tendency to develop stories in our heads based on past experiences that we live by. Playbooks are already written in our minds, and we believe we know exactly how it’s going to play out. Your mind must be reconditioned from habitual conditioned thinking. Work to uncover and discard the narratives that do not serve you. Rewrite your future with a new story — one that is not limited by past experiences.
Realize adversity is a gift
We can and should learn from all experiences, positive and negative, since adversity is one of our best teachers. People have become so caught up in the pursuit of success, moving at such a fast pace to get to where they think they need to be, that they forget to give a winning performance its proper context: Adversity is a fact of life. If we look at our most trying challenges through the right lens, we will ultimately gain wisdom and come to see the benefit inside of perceived setbacks.
Discover your unopened gifts
There is a plethora of unopened gifts inside of you. Everything you’ve been through, every experience, every failure, every success, every person you’ve met. I propose to you that everything is a gift. The gifts that presently surround us are the stepping stones to experiencing fulfillment, passion and purpose. When we open up and share the unique gifts inside of us, identify who and what our teachers are, and become willing to remove the interferences that come between what we say we want and actually obtaining those results, we receive the gift of breakthrough.
Choose gratitude … It harvests breakthrough
It’s a choice we have to make to acknowledge the goodness around us, particularly in the midst of hardships and setbacks. Positive psychology researcher Robert Emmons contends that choosing to be grateful can lead to increased levels of wellbeing, happiness, comfort and security, resulting in higher self-esteem, less depression and anxiety, and stronger self-control. Life and business hold amazing outcomes for us when we choose gratitude, nurture relationships and learn to interpret our world in a new way.
Access your breakthrough
Each of us has been given an array of gifts, and for many of us there is at least one that stands out among the rest. As leaders, once we get unstuck, momentum is created and the clarity we need to achieve the results we want come forth. Do you know what your greatest gift is? Have you discovered and activated the potential inside? What unopened gifts lie dormant inside of you waiting for a breakthrough?
YPO member James “Mac” McPartland is an author, executive coach, keynote speaker, and Founder of Access Performance International, a training and consulting firm that helps team players breakthrough their current levels of performance. McPartland has authored the critically acclaimed business fable series “Unopened Gifts” in which readers discover the gifts within them for achieving a higher-performing life. Using the analysis of human performance as a platform and his Breakthrough Methodology, McPartland has worked with CEOs and executives of companies like Bank of America, IBM, Athlete’s First, Nespresso and 24 Hour Fitness, and with professional athletes, who have hired him for help in the areas of performance management, personal development and organizational improvement.