It was September 2020, one month after I suffered a broken ankle when I said to my physical therapist, “how am I ever going to curl again?” The location of the injury impeded my ability to flex my ankle to 180 degrees; a critical position for delivering a 42-pound stone on 27°F ice. My world had turned upside down and the future was unclear for me. 

Can you remember a set-back you thought you could not overcome? 

As I think about my misfortune, I can’t help but think about the CEO or Senior leader in an organization who is going through some type of rapid change and feels off track. The tricks of the past no longer serve them, they feel lonely and don’t know where to turn. Those moments may be indicators to start with a clean slate and re-evaluate your situation. Sometimes leaders have to navigate twists, turns and uncertainty to gain clarity. 

I tell leaders when they’re unclear to ask themselves these questions:

  • What are the opportunities in front of you?
  • What is in your control? 
  • What resources do you need to get back on track?
  • What personal accountability do you need to stay focused on the future?

Here’s how these questions helped my broken ankle:

Several weeks later I met with my physical therapist and told them I was frustrated and didn’t think I would get back into curling in 2 weeks time. It was now the beginning of October.

The physical therapist said the most profound thing to me: “When you look back 6 weeks ago, you could barely walk in a hard boot with crutches, now you’re in a soft boot complaining about walking up stairs. Look back and see how far you’ve come. It will make you think about the future in a whole new way!”

The first day I got back on the ice, I could only deliver the stone by carefully descending into my delivery with my foot turned at an awkward 45 degree angle; hardly the form of a silver medalist. I was frustrated, but happy to see I could get on the ice without doing too much damage. 

The Transformation

I started to throw a few stones and a few more. Because my mending ankle had not regained full flexibility, it forced me to deliver my stone more deliberately as I pushed out of the hack and accelerated down the ice. The extra second or two I took to descend into my position gave me the time to better focus on the trajectory of my stone. 

To my amazement, my delivery was far more accurate than in previous years. The unfortunate event that left doubt in my curling capability resulted in a step change improvement in my overall performance ultimately. We had a winning season and I’m pleased to say my confidence is significantly higher than when I started.

How are you going to handle a broken business?

Sometimes we feel stuck, a crumbling foundation and it’s a lonely place to rebuild the foundation, leadership and a strategy when you are dropped into a situation or conditions change. Just know that the CEO’s Compass, a 7 point assessment tool, is exactly what you need to regain confidence, control and create a winning future for you and your team! 

To learn more about The CEO’s Compass – Your Guide to Get Back on Track, my book releasing later in 2021, jump on our waitlist to get the latest information. 

If you simply want to have a free 30 minute conversation to discuss your current situation, let’s jump on a call. 

For more information about curling, go to USA Curling to learn more about the sport as we get closer to the 2022 Winter Olympics. If you are local to Cincinnati, come curl with us at the Cincinnati Curling Club! I’d love to take you out on the ice starting in October when the season opens. My business video was also partly filmed at my curling club. Check it out!


Good reads: 

How to Negotiate When Negotiating Makes You Nervous by Moshe Cohen

The challenge of negotiating is not always in the technique, but instead negotiating with yourself.

Good music:

Veigar Margeirsson

My go-to composer when I need to feel inspired. 

Most inspirational Podcast Guest I spoke to this week:

Dr. Charles Reed, a truly transformational leader. Connect with him and share with him how you found him. Subscribe to the podcast so you catch his episode in the coming months.