Happy New Year 2011


I've been thinking recently about the psychology of second acts — you know, coming back to rebuild a situation, relationship, or organization, in the same way you went about doing it the first time or with the first one. Rarely a second act is different from a first one.

Why? Because we get very good at what worked and we're uncomfortable with uncertaintly.

It sounds like many organizations — the people in them, it is about people — are clinging onto the way things have been done before, just with new tools and technologies. This shows up in how they come across online, in the kinds of jobs businesses look to fill, and the types of jobs candidates look to get.

It worked of the past, it's secure. There is no security.

Things have changed

Putting everyone in an open space when they used to have offices with doors — which by the way, made them productive because a door to close when you need space to think does wonders — is not the way to change the way people look at things.

Only people can change that and they must want to for it to open up all kinds of opportunity.

Many years ago, in a conversation with former Commander of the U.S.S. Benfold Mike Abrashoff, we learned that the way he turned his ship around was by walking the talk — demonstrating he was serious about listening, and following through on what he saw and heard — allowing people to make the changes needed for the ship to work better made those changes stick, and those people stick around.

There is no limit for better. And people watch what other people do vs. what they say.

Is your ship a Titanic? In that case, the best advice I can give you is to turn at top speed — reversing or breaking will only make things worse. Lean into the change. Make it happen. Get rid of the anacronysms — those who cling onto what has worked in the past, including concepts of success.

Start from the top. Find "level five" leaders.

Purpose doesn't find you

You find it. And it's not out there. It's inside — you, your business, your team, collaborations, partnerships, etc. There is a big caveat to this inside conversation — it needs to be vetted. Many a vision has gotten drunk on itself too quickly. There are two ways to vet information.

1. formulating your list of desires and then releasing it to the larger context you operate in and trusting that when things may not go your way, there is a reason. Staying aware of and attuned to what happens each moment is a good way to find those reasons and to follow your intention where it may lead.

2. relearn to think independently by not accepting anything at face value — especially opinions. Instead, suspend your judgment while you require reality to explain itself with facts. Insights and foresight are not in a crystal ball, they are rooted in data, evidence, and stories.

Your willingness to accept that you don't know is your path to discovery, and security.

Opportunity equals…

… you can make it happen.

Happy New Year

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