Be Prepared: Your-Time Will Come…

Dr. Brian Sutton-Smith writes: “The opposite of play isn’t work. It’s depression.” “Furthermore, the opposite of success is not failure—it is living a life where you are comfortably numb.”

In the book “Sink, Float or Swim” by Scott Pelton & Jogi Rippel they write: “The truth is that in every crisis, there are opportunities: Opportunities for evaluation, for change, for reinvention, for innovation”.

In the article “Change Management is an Oxymoron” by Jim Clemmer he writes: “Those two words (change and management) make about as much sense together as “holy war”, “non-working mother”, “mandatory option”, and “political principles”. Many of the books, models, theories, and “processes” on change have come from staff support people, consultants, or academics who’ve never built a business or led an organization”. “Change management comes from the same dangerously seductive reasoning as strategic planning.

They’re both based on the shaky assumption that there’s an orderly thinking and implementation process which can objectively plot a course of action like Jean Luc Piccard on the starship Enterprise and then ‘make it so’. But if that ever was possible, it certainly isn’t in today’s world of high velocity change”.

In the book by Jim Collins, “Good to Great: Why Some Companies make the Leap” he writes: “If I was running a company today, I would have one priority above all others; to acquire as many of the best people as I could. I’d put off everything else…to fill the bus”.

Michael Jordan said, “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

Kjell Nordstrom, author of “Kararoke Capitalism” writes: “Business today has turned into a karaoke bar. Everything is a copy of a copy of a copy. He explained that it is similar to some untalented drunk patron in a bar singing someone else’s song; business is full of copy–cats. Further, he says “imagination and innovation will place societies, organizations, and sad individuals on center-stage”. “Creativity is the commodity of the future. But taking the same information that everybody else has and doing something unique, useful, and impactful; this is the ticket for success”.

Tiger Woods said “after a round of golf, he goes over went wrong but more importantly, he goes over what went right. This means he is rehearsing (practicing) success over and over and over again. In contrast, what are people practicing when they focus on their mistakes? They are mentally rehearsing their poor performance. So what will they get good at? You got it; poor performance. Does this mean you should ignore your mistakes? Absolutely not: But focus on the success and not the failure”.

“Challenge is based on the belief that change is a constant in one’s life. Successful people tend to see change as an exciting challenge to embrace and master rather than as a stressor to avoid. They welcome new opportunities to learn, grow, and change when faced with challenges, and do not perceive these opportunities as threats.  The feeling of control or ownership is at the root of almost every theory of effectiveness. People who are able to make critical decisions and to make change happen have developed this sense of control”.

Scott Pelton & Jogi Rippel, write: “An action plan is important but without execution and ‘movement’ the plan accomplishes nothing”. “The typical (linear) approach is to think that the harder you push the greater you improve the chance for success—false. As you keep trying harder & harder and work longer and longer at some point there is the law of diminishing return and your efforts become counter productive. To be more productive set a ‘rhythm’; plan, execute, follow-up, disengage; plan, execute, follow-up, disengage; …etc”.

In business, there is a preponderance of goal setting, which is perceived as crucial for measuring results and creating accountability. The type of goals most commonly used are ‘SMART’ goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-based. Unfortunately, they lack “emotion”. One of the biggest factors in success is developing emotional & meaningful goals. If a goal has no meaning and doesn’t touch an emotional chord, then the chances of achieving it are very unlikely. It must be personally meaningful: Why is it important to an individual?

Find this meaning provides the emotion for the goal. In order for the goal to be achieved, people must visualize themselves achieving it. The goal must bridge the GAP between where they are and where they want to be in the future.  Developing the “To Be” goals is vital to making the change”.

John Kotter, Harvard Business School, writes: “Behavior change happens mostly by speaking to people’s feelings. In other words, making change is all about your emotional connection to the change”.  A very effective way to create an emotional connection is with a clear and compelling image of who you want to be in the future (“To Be”). This is different from what you want “To Do” or what you want “To Have”.

Geoff Colvin author of “Talent is Overrated” writes: “What separates world-class performers? The poorest performer doesn’t set goals. The mediocre performer set goals that are general and often focus simply on achieving a good outcome. The best performers set goals that are not outcomes but rather about the process for reaching the outcome”.

Change can be ignored, resisted, responded to, capitalized upon, and created. But it can be managed and made to march to some orderly step-by-step process. However, whether change is a threat or an opportunity depends on how prepared we are.

Whether we become change victims or victors depends on our readiness for change.  An inspiring quotation from Abraham Lincoln (in his decades long string of failures in business and politics before becoming one of America’s greatest presidents): He once said, I will prepare myself and my time must come.”