Feeling overwhelmed? Need to reduce risks… have too many big issues in front of you?…. Do something! You’ll feel better

by | July 12, 2011

Today’s guest blog comes from Dave Shapiro, a group leader at Excell CEO.  Dave mentors CEOs and business owners throughout the Puget Sound and West Coast to help them gain clarity about what is holding their company back and what will propel it to even greater heights.


One of the toughest issues to face is uncertainty… Many of the CEO’s/Business Owners I work with are facing issues they have never before addressed.  Often such issues come one at a time.  Today, I listened while a CEO said that he was facing the following issues: one of the buildings in which his business sits is now worth less then the mortgage on it; one of the Company’s markets had disappeared, not just reduced; a line they manufacture was related directly to the demand from the market that had disappeared; and one of the Company’s long time employees was performing inconsistently in ways that were costing the Company significantly.

Understandably, he felt hosed (overwhelmed).  Most of the time, when we feel overwhelmed, we become inert, stop acting.  While planning is often a good thing, taking action is often the first step to getting unstuck.  Here are some very quick steps to take that will lead to your feeling re-energized, provide some clarity and let you be more proactive as you move through your tough time.

  1. Write a list the issues/problems
  2. Prioritize the list
  3. Take only the most or least important item on your list and list all the options you can think of to do about that issue and prioritize those items.
  4. Do one of the items and with that result, see what has changed
  5. Look at that list again and add to it if something comes to mind.  Then do a couple more of the prioritized items and stop
  6. List what you have accomplished, no matter how small it may seem.


At this point there are a number of actions you can take and we can discuss these in another blog.  What I often feel after having taken some actions (listing, prioritizing and doing) is more powerful and able to address the issues in front of me.  Standing still is what usually makes me feel stuck.

What do you do when you are stuck?  How does that work for you?