Monday, February 23, 2009

Mind Shift

While on my way to San Francisco I was reading an article in "Corporate Meetings and Incentives" that made a few points that were shared by James Feldman of Shift Happens. He makes these 5 points about our current situation that I think are worth considering. The main bullets are his - the commentary is mine......

1. Stop pointing fingers.

We are sure prone to do that. Blame the president, the democrats, the republicans, somebody, anybody. The reality no person or group of people is capable of making the mess we are in. We all participated and that is the only way we get out. We have to fix it together. And that doesn't happen by continually focusing on how bad it is. We need to find the things we can focus on that are good and get after it. The sooner we focus on what "is" working, the sooner we can put this behind us.

2. Elevate your attitude.

I have always been a believer in the little saying that "attitude is everything" and I believe that is never more true than now. We can choose to be victims, or we can seize the opportunity. I prefer the latter. I am not going to be overwhelmes and paralyzed by the current situation. And as leaders in our homes, companies, churches and other places, that attitude has never been more important.

3. Accurately identify the problem.

Right now everyone is blaming everything on the current economic situation. Customers had issues before this. Customers had needs before this. They will have them when we get through it. The opportunity lies in identifying those now and helping them address what they can but be ready to help them attack them when we come out the other side. That means assessments and surveys and spending time LISTENING. We need to spend time during this climate focused on how we will serve them when we get past it.

4. Partner, partner, partner.

The way we thrive in this kind of pressure packed situation is to do it together. We will struggle if we curl up in a fetal position and try to weather the storm in a vaccuum. We need each other to survive and thrive. That is the key to peer groups and having community. We can learn from, get encouraged by, share great ideas and best practices with, and just plain work together if we are connected. I am convinced that those who will pull through likely understand the value of their peers and partnering. There is no time like now to step that part of how you do business up a notch. Reach out to folks and connect.

5. Tune in, not out.

We need to connect and listen more than ever. Our tendency is to pull back, cut everything and cut everywhere. But now more than ever we need to be with our customers, partners, vendors and peers to listen and learn. We need to pay close attention to what they say and not make assumptions on what they are feeling. Sometimes we tend to make decisons for others without ever asking. We assume they don't have budget because the media says so. How wrong that can be. We need to make sure we are tuned in and listen well.

Five great thoughts with a little color commentary from me. I know things are bad - we are wrestling with the economy just like everyone else. But these 5 simple thoughts are a great place to start changing how we look at things. It will end. We need to focus on being around when it does. That is most effectively done when we tackle it together. The power of peers through HTG has never been needed more or been more valuable to those who are part.

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