10 Lessons to Move from Frustration to Forward Thinking

mindset May 26, 2022

Today’s leaders need to hone their soft skills like never before. There’s nothing “soft” when it comes to soft skills development. In fact, soft skills are some of the hardest skills you will ever seek to acquire. 

In the USA, prior to March 2020 and going back 10 years, the US workforce averaged around 1.8 million workers a month being laid off.  However, in March 2020 nearly 11.5 million employees were laid off. Then, in April 2020 an additional 7.7 million lost their jobs.

The workforce was frustrated, to say the least. Many were forced to reinvent themselves and their work life. Many struggled to find their new footing, while others found a way to thrive.

Recently, I had a conversation with Aju Johnson who happened to be one of the millions who was laid off because of the pandemic. He shared with me his journey of moving from frustration to forward-thinking and from self-focus to others-focused.

Aju has been on a scavenger hunt for the things he loves to do and that has significance.  He believes success asks, “How can I add value to myself?”  while significance asks, “How can I add value to others?”

Through his journey, he shares these ten lessons learned in moving from frustration to forward-thinking.

  1. Be real about your emotions. Call them out!
  2. Understand that it may take time to heal
  3. Identify what you are responsible for
  4. Connect with a mentor who believes in you
  5. Recognize that the sacrificial cost of growth is never over
  6. Borrow the belief others have in you until you can believe in yourself again
  7. Recognize that moving forward is REALLY HARD work
  8. Pursue personal growth daily.
  9. As a leader, build trust and a culture of personal growth and development with your new team
  10. Move into your new space with creativity and flexibility

Aju is a proven leader and people manager focused on understanding customer and employee objectives.  He partners with his clients in vision-casting, education, planning, and execution toward their stated goals. Aju and his new team serve as a bridge between the business community and the technology community.

“Don't wish it was easier wish you were better. Don't wish for less problems wish for more skills. Don't wish for less challenge wish for more wisdom” Jim Rohn

The inspiration of Aju’s story stays with me as he paints a picture of leaders who have gone through difficult times over these past 2 years.

These are the leaders that are re-entering the workforce with changed perspectives because of their own pain. The result is:

  • Stronger leaders.
  • Better leaders.
  • Compassionate leaders.

Are you one of these leaders?  If you are still struggling with crushed dreams, listen to Aju’s full story in the Art of Leadership podcast, and may his story encourage you to reach out to those who will encourage you to borrow their belief in you until you are ready to believe in yourself once again. 

Like Aju, what you have gone through makes a difference, not only in your leadership but in the lives of those you influence.

“Creativity says there is always an answer; flexibility says there is more than one answer.”  Aju Johnson


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