Changing Direction is Not Lack of Direction | #leadership #career

Changing Direction: Be Open to It! It’s Not Lack of Direction.

Changing direction: Image is humanoid w/ 5 arrows diverging.

Changing direction is not lack of direction. Image licensed from

Image licensed from

Changing Direction: Don’t Mistake It as Lack of Direction!

As I read change blogger Alli Polin’s post 30 Life Lessons Learned, lesson 19 stopped me in my tracks: Goals change as you change.

I immediately reflected on how often changing direction is mistakenly seen as indecisive or retreating from a challenge. This mistaken belief is risky. Success requires agility and changing direction is essential.

How and why did this mistaken belief get started?

  • High need for control and for decisiveness drives some people to label changing direction as bad.
  • People’s frustration of dealing with sudden changes of direction brings them to rationalize change as bad.
  • Traditional social values about “settling down into a job/career” linger even as career progression practices change.

Where does this mistaken belief show up?

  • In teams with highly decisive leaders who crave control
  • In coaching with coaches who drive instead of coach
  • In young entrepreneurs in start up mode
  • In your own mind during short moments of uncertainty
  • In the hindsight of mentors who forget the experimenting they did
  • In some families with parents whose teenagers/young adult children want to explore very different lives/careers

Exercise: Make notes for one day of all the times you see changing direction as weak, indecisive, or lacking direction. How did this view affect you or others around you? What could happen if you saw changing direction more positively? You may be surprised at the results!

For success, see changing direction as:

  • Keen vision of emerging information
  • Openness to business and market changes
  • The exceptional ability to move without losing momentum
  • The sun rising or light bulbs coming on during effective coaching
  • A chance to inspire courage and growth in those you mentor
  • Your great parenting coming to life uniquely in each child

Persist when you see potential; change when you see futility and new opportunity.

From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Related Posts:
Want Success? Don’t Let Fear Be the Gum On Your Shoe
Leadership: Consistency & Agility Are NOT Enemies

©2016 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.

Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.


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I invite your questions, welcome your wisdom, and look forward to working with you.
~Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

4 Responses to “Changing Direction is Not Lack of Direction | #leadership #career”

  1. Jon Mertz says:


    Careers are stories containing different chapters. Some chapters go on for many pages (years), and others are short. Overall, our careers tell a story, and we need to ensure we are working toward one that has meaning and uses our talent fully. Appreciate your points here. Very key to anyone, no matter where they are in their career story.


    • Kate Nasser says:

      Love your story/chapter analogy Jon. It is so very true. I knew in my first career that it was the wrong one — I knew in 3 months and moved on. Had I fallen into the trap of thinking I had to stick it out simply because I had chosen it, I would have wasted precious time that I applied to my new career.

      Many thanks,

  2. Alli Polin says:

    Thank you for this, Kate. Your last sentence sums it up beautifully and I hope that people read it until it sinks in that changing direction is not failure. Changing direction is leading forward down a path that holds possibility that is greater than the present.

    Also, as a coach, I appreciate that you point out the harm of rah-rah directive coaching. You can do it! Keep on going! Don’t stop! Do this! Oftentimes my clients need to stop and take stock. They also need to do an honest analysis of where they are and give themselves permission to shift. Coaching that holds the course but doesn’t allow for change ultimately hurts our client’s success and happiness.

    Will share!!

    ~ Alli

    • Kate Nasser says:

      Many thanks Alli. Your expansion on the topic of coaching rings true to me as well. I think that sometimes coaches mistake themselves for hard driving personal trainers and fall into the trap of — as you say — “Don’t stop, keep going!” I chuckle when I think back to an aerobics trainer that yelled that in my ear years ago when I took a break. My body had told me to stop and I did. In the end I pinched my sciatic nerve and was out of commission for awhile. Listening to our own inner voice and following it is key.

      Grateful for your input here,

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