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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Pivot Point Is About Transition


A Pivot Point is a 'game-changing' life event that you remember vividly forever, and it changes you.

Last Friday, Myron Radio facilitated a marvelous program at the Leadership Breakfast of Maryland; the core concept was the effect of pivot points on individual and organizational success.

Two stories which illuminate the transition effect of a pivot point:

As an undergraduate student at the University of Maryland studying business and economics, I experienced an ah-ha when a labor law professor opened my eyes to the difference between being a student and being a learner. My focus shifted from trying to discern what would be on the test to actually internalizing the material – linking it prior learning and experience. If it didn't fit I would find other viewpoints to better understand how it related to what I already knew. Suddenly I was using knowledge, instead of just storing it – and have continued to be a learner ever since.

In my professional career I was point-guy for my organization in a merger. The president of the acquiring firm open a discussion about my role in the combined organization – a lateral shift to VP of recruiting. To me recruiting is a functional role, not an executive one, and I shared my thoughts with him, indicating I would not be accepting his offer. With a clear mind, I went on to become a President and CEO.

Many of us realize while pivot points are the major shifts, often we suddenly see how a puzzle piece fits for the issue currently in our minds. For example, when reading the book Makers by Cory Doctorow, it became clear to me how the traditional business structure was evolving – a fictional work NOT about business yielded an explanation of the radical shift currently under way.

Being aware of these shifts, great and small, empowers the leader to transform an organization by creating an environment encouraging applied learning and innovation.

The key to future challenges are in the lessons learned during the journey from the present to the future.

Add to the discussion – share your experience with a Pivot Point.
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