“Wow, was that only a little over a year ago?!? That’s crazy!”

I had that conversation again today with a client. We were looking at an email dated at the end of January, 2020. It feels like it’s from a different century, not fifteen months ago.

That’s because the last year has been full of turning points for so many of us. We’re in an era where, for many people and organizations, life will just never be the same again. There was before. Now there’s after. We’re at a Turning Point.

Over my 25+ years as a strategy facilitator and leadership coach, I’ve met many people who are at Turning Points. What these moments often have in common is a mismatch between our expectations and our reality.

We expected to easily get a job. Instead, we struggled to get our foot in the door.

We expected to impress people with our brilliance and grit. Instead, we had a boss who overlooked us.

We expected to come through any tight spots at work with grit and savvy. Instead, our company tanked and we had to find another place to land.

We thought we’d get promotion after promotion until we’d be in our sweet spot. Instead, we found ourselves stuck on a nightmare project with a team member or client who is our arch-nemesis.

Each of these mismatches leads us to a potential Turning Point. And like the many Turning Points caused by Covid, we can see them as a curse, an interruption, something to just endure.

Or… we can see that they could be a great gift. They could be a moment after which everything changes, but in ways that bring us good we had never anticipated and couldn’t have planned on our best days.

How about you? What mismatch are you experiencing between expectations and reality? What if it’s a gift in disguise? What if it’s a Turning Point?

Be bright