Six Keys to Getting Unstuck, Pt. I by D. Clarke

Six Keys to Getting Unstuck Pt. I
by David Anthony Clarke, Sr.

Have you or your organization ever been stuck? To be stuck simply means that there is no movement, no progress, we're seeing the same old same old. There are many who talk about going to the next level. If the truth is told, however, studies show most organizations rarely make it happen.

This month's article is adapted from my upcoming book Are There Any Questions? Great Questions Inquisitive Leaders Ask. It is based on the Old Testament story of four lepers in II Kings chapter seven. Stuck in starvation, they decided to do something about their situation and ended up with enough abundance for themselves and their community. The same can happen for us. Let me offer the first three of six keys to getting unstuck.

Key #1: Honesty
The lepers were not in denial. They were about to starve to death. Acting as though it wasn't happening wasn't going to change anything. Whenever we're in a rut, it is crucial that we're honest about where we are, why we're there, and what it's going to take to get unstuck.

There are a number of reasons why we lead folks who may find themselves stuck. Sometimes, they're overwhelmed with more than they can handle and don't know where to start or simply cannot get going. Other times, we may lead people who have been given instructions but feel like they don't know where their team is going. Another factor is being exhausted and drained from too many "re-engineering efforts" from the past that didn't work or too much current drama and conflict.

When our organizations are stuck, there are several questions leaders need to personally ask and honestly answer. Here are a few I ask myself and the folks closest to me:

·Is there anything I neglected to do? Routines have a way of closing our eyes to opportunities, relationships, and ideas that can keep us moving forward. It's easy to fall into the trap of taking things for granted when things seem to be going well. Crises, however, have a way of bringing us face to face with things that have never crossed our minds.

·Are we stuck because of what I did not know? Contrary to popular belief, what we don't know can hurt us. Be informed. Get around and listen to what people around you have to say--the stories, complaints and get feedback. Also, our world is changing at a very rapid rate. No matter how busy you are, take the time to expose your mind to what will broaden your range of expertise. Continually fill your mind with pertinent new knowledge.

·Are we stuck because of decisions I made? This was not the time for the lepers to play the blame game. If your organization is stuck because of decisions you made as a leader, do everyone a favor and own up to it.

Key #2: Refuse to just sit there
The lepers refused to just sit there and do nothing about their situation. There was something inside them that said, "All we see is not all there is to be seen." The sad reality is there are so many organizations, churches, and individuals sitting at the gate of complacency accepting the minimums while there is so much more to gain.

Refusal has a language. It keeps us saying things like:

·I refuse to believe this recession is going to make us shut our doors for good.

·I refuse to believe there is no way out of this rut. We're one idea, dream, or revelation away from a breakthrough.
·I refuse to believe that all I see is all to be seen. There's more! There's a bailout somewhere just waiting to happen.

This refusal is hope with fangs. It's tough and lethal. Refuse to believe that all you see is all there is to be seen. This is what feeds a perpetual curiosity that keeps visionary leaders looking for better systems, approaches, and more innovative and creative ways to make visions become a reality.

Key #3: Curiosity
The lepers were curious. They asked, "Why are we just sitting here?" Although they didn't ask this question until a crisis came, they had the audacity to ask. Crises have a way of doing that-making us ask questions we should've asked long before the crisis ever showed up.

Curiosity empowers us to get unstuck because it drives us to ponder the various ways we can get out of our situation. Rather than become hopeless and give up, they discussed their options, potential outcomes of each option, and made a decision that took them to a whole new world. It can happen for you, too, if you ask questions such as the following:

·Who are we now? Can we reinvent ourselves and move forward?

·What is the new order of our priorities?

·What are our options and the potential outcome of each one?

·What would happen if...?

Summary: getting unstuck can happen if we're honest about where we are and how we got there, tough enough to refuse to give up, and curious enough to ask and answer the right questions.

Preview: the other three keys are Courage, Self-Motivation, and Divine Intervention. We look forward to sharing with you in July!

Copyright 2009, David Anthony Clarke, Sr.

Be encouraged and enjoy the journey!


David Anthony Clarke
Clarkehouse Ministries

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