Taking a pulse check is weeding out what gets in the way of our being fulfilled and realizing our full potential. It is an opportunity to refresh, repair, recover, revitalize and fertilize what should be nurtured. It is a time to assess whether we are where we envisioned we would be.
Taking a pulse check is a natural process that allows us to be in touch with the truth and to take full ownership of changes that must be initiated.
Taking a pulse check is not punishment. It is a gift to ourselves as individuals to honor who we are, and it is a healthy process to embrace as teams, boards and organizations. How can we truly know how we are doing if we don’t stop and ask? How can we know what we need if we don’t peek to look? Sports teams are “on” and exposed in their every move individually and collectively. They assess, review, evaluate and change what they need to all the time. They can’t take the process personally. They have back-ups because it makes absolute sense and the stakes are too high not to.
I invite you to pause and to take a pulse check.
Last month I had the privilege to speak in Montreal at Laval Universite’s annual board governance event about board performance and effectiveness. I shared my views about the important shifts that are and will take place to achieve higher board effectiveness. While there are many regulations to comply with, the first duty is to determine how we choose to show up in the boardroom individually and collectively and to strive for healthy dynamics.
I encouraged the attendees to take a pulse check about their own commitment and to examine if they belong in their seats. I invited the attendees to advocate for annual board, CEO and executive leadership effectiveness assessments for ensuring solid processes and sound approaches to board composition, nomination and thoughtful succession planning. I invited everyone to be the lever for the important shifts that are taking place in the boardroom and to not be afraid to be the catalyst for ensuring that pulse checks are in effect, inclusive of ensuring that the board understands the strategy, engages without suffocating and is in alignment with the CEO and the executive team on strategic priorities and associated risks. It makes sense to cover the fundamentals to be in the know. I solicited their support to pause when they deliberate and to consider the consequences for all stakeholders inclusive of the employees, the customers and the partners the entity serves.
Everyone I work with and interact with, individually or as a group, whether it is a public board, a voluntary cause, an executive, an emerging leader, an entrepreneur or a stranger to whom I lend my ear, knows that I love to take a pulse check, to do a “Johanne check-in.” I facilitate surfacing and addressing the truth, which includes positives, what is under-utilized and aspects that are perhaps procrastinated about or overlooked. As a result of knowing the truth, we can more readily cut through the clutter. There is a resurgence of empowerment and eagerness to focus and courageously take ownership to move forward with the possibilities that are within reach and beyond.
Don’t resist initiating the change or welcoming the transformation that is needed for yourself, your teams, your boards and organizations. Keep on aspiring to creating the possibilities that you can and should manifest. Don’t delay what you can do now and take a pulse check!