Shift Your Thinking for Business (and Life) Transformation

By Lisa Petrilli

I wrote a post a few months back about how my life’s most important work may be to stop taking on the burdens and emotions of other people – living “in their colors” as I described it – so that I can live my life as my true self.

You see, I believe that many of us live in such a way that what we “take on” from others is not in balance with what we “release” that is not ours.

So a few months ago I started being very deliberate about starting my mornings with real intention to “let go” of what was not mine – fears for example – perhaps something I may have absorbed or begun to worry about the day before or something I’ve been dealing with for a very long time.  Regardless of how it came to me, I’ve been focusing on letting it go before I start my day.

It’s a small but transformative shift in mindset that has made a dramatic difference for me because it frees me up to focus with clear intention on what I want to create, manifest and bring to life over the next 24 hours.

Well, very recently a book by Russell Bishop (Creator of Insight Seminars and Senior Editor-at-Large for the Huffington Post) entitled, “Workarounds That Work: How to Conquer Anything That Stands in Your Way at Work” came to my attention, and I found myself responding to Russell’s message because of its emphasis on the importance of shifts in thinking for business success. 

As Russell states in his introduction in regard to addressing problems or challenges,

“…the first workaround may actually start with you! It’s not that you are the problem or someone to blame; still, it could be that something about your own thinking or mental approach to the challenge needs to shift before anything meaninful can take place elsewhere.”

He goes on to say in one later section, “How you frame the problem is the problem,” and reminds us of Henry Ford’s famous quote, “whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.”

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to talk with Russell last week, and as we were talking about how the recession has impacted companies – with fewer people being expected to do the same amount of work – he made this statement that represented a real shift in thinking for me:

“We’re not overwhelmed we’re just employed.  Our job isn’t to get it all done but to keep it all moving.” 

I can’t tell you how much that statement felt like a proverbial “a-ha moment,” and how much happier and more relaxed I was that evening when I looked back on my day and reflected on what I’d moved forward rather than what I’d finished.  I’m not implying deadlines should be missed, but most days aren’t made up of firm deadlines and this shift in thinking actually had a profound impact on my feeling of accomplishment throughout the rest of my week.

There’s so much more in Russell’s book that resonates with me – his kindred focus on the Circles of Control, Influence and Concern (which he called the Circle of Response) that I wrote about in my post, “The Circle of Control: What Smart Leaders and Marketers Know,” the importance of getting the right things done, and the criticality of aligned leadership and clear direction (vision!).

I’m honored and excited to tell you that the reason I was on the phone with Russell – and with my LeadershipChat co-host Steve Woodruff – is that Russell will be LeadershipChat’s very first Special Guest this Tuesday, January 18th at 8:00 pm Eastern Time!  We’re thrilled that the LeadershipChat Community will be able to ask Russell questions and listen to him share his leadership insights throughout the chat!

The chat will focus on four of the chapters in Russell’s book:

  • Chapter 8: When Cultures Clash
  • Chapter 9: Death by Decision
  • Chapter 10: Moving Beyond Consensus
  • Chapter 11: Are You a Corporate Firefighter?

We’ll spend about 15 minutes on each chapter and are expecting a very lively conversation!

An added benefit is that Russell happens to be one of the nicest people on the planet and though he’s not new to Twitter he is new to chats – and genuinely looking forward to meeting and chatting with the LeadershipChat Community!

So please mark your calendar for LeadershipChat and be sure to join me, Steve and Russell for 60 minutes of smart thinking and smart insights that just may have a profound impact on your life and how you view your leadership role!

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Photo is Caterpillar to Butterfly…just emerged from cocoon by JungleMama.


  1. A breath of fresh air in this post, Lisa. I particularly like the concept of “keep it moving” rather than deal with the overwhelm. It takes a weight off that most of us don’t realize we are carrying. I’ve written the book down on my list of books to read, and hope to get to it soon!

    Georgia´s last blog post ..Leadership Passion Without Attachment to the Outcome

    • Thank you, Georgia! As I mentioned in the post, I really liked that concept as well. It feels very “freeing.” :)

      Thank you so much for taking the time to be here and to share your thoughts this morning. You’re welcome to join us for #LeadershipChat any Tuesday – it would be a thrill to see you there! All the very best, Lisa

  2. An old boss of mine once described my role in the company as, “Putting the train back on the tracks every morning.” Strikes a similar chord, doesn’t it? Looking fwd to the chat – will do my best to make it!
    Stephen Denny´s last blog post ..Seeing What Others Miss- Q-TIPS- How to Win a Lost Battle- and 5 Ways to Tactically Shift

    • Stephen, Yes, it certainly does. :) Glad to know you’re going to try to join us tomorrow night – your insights are always so valuable! Thanks for sharing your boss’s great quote.

  3. I agree wholeheartedly Lisa. It has taken me more years than I care to admit to realise that we spend too much time thinking about and worrying about things in life that we have no means of influencing.

    It may be family, career or the state of the world economy but spending time chewing over these things just takes our energy away from what we can do. The problem is that they come creeping back at you so I like your concept of ‘letting go’ at the start of the day, I will from now on try to adopt that discipline.

    Thanks for a thoughtful article Lisa, it’s my first visit to you but I will certainly be back.

    Tony Hastings´s last blog post ..Do You Speak Predictive 10 Reasons Why I Don’t!

    • Tony,

      I’m honored that you stopped by and thrilled to know you’ll be back – it means a a lot to me. Please let me know if you do try “letting go” at the beginning of your day – I’d love to know if it ends up resonating with you and if it has any impact. Wishing you all the very best, Lisa


  1. […] How have you seen this play out in your work history? Are you seeing a good balance between consensus and decisiveness, or is the boat capsizing on the side of either paralysis, or autocratic fiat? Join us for an enlightening discussion on #LeadershipChat tonight! And be sure, in preparation, to read my co-host Lisa Petrilli‘s introductory blog post on our topic, Shift Your Thinking for Business (and Life) Transformation. […]

  2. […] week I wrote a post called Shift Your Thinking for Business (and Life) Transformation that talked about how small shifts in mindset – literally just reframing our problems – can […]

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