We have all seen a leaf floating by in the drift of a river. It goes with the current…the drift. It’s a simple concept. That simple concept can make a dramatic difference in your work right now.

You might be finding recently that it feels like you are working harder and yet be feeling more uncertain about whether you are making the headway you want to make at work.

That is because of the drift.

In work and life, there are different ways in which conversations drift. Right now there is a drift in our conversations that is pulling for anxiety, resignation, and overwhelm. So, how do you battle that drift as a leader?

To intervene in the drift of a river, you have to stick a paddle down into the river and change the course of where it wants to take you. At work, you can intervene in the drift and change the course of the conversations that are happening around you. What that looks like is generating conversations that create and empower, rather than the easier ones that are part of the drift.

When we talk about leadership, one of the best ways that we can be effective is to look for where we can intervene in the drift – ours and our teams’. Sometimes that is changing the conversation. Sometimes it is changing what we are focusing on.

Try this:

First – Think about what you are committed to. Ask others to share what they are committed to.

Second – Share a couple of legitimate challenges you find are in the way of your commitment.

Third – Brainstorm several actions you could take that can serve as pathways to fulfill on your commitment.

Fourth – Pick one or more of those actions and make a promise by when you will take those actions.

Fifth – Commit to a time when you will reconvene and share what happened.

This is a simple exercise to direct the focus and conversations in directions that support what you are up to, what you are committed to, what would inspire you. It doesn’t ignore what you are dealing with, but it also doesn’t stop with that. It intervenes in the drift so you can make headway in the direction you want to go.

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