It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.
-Epictetus (timeless, philosophical wisdom from nearly 2,000 years ago)
In hundreds of seminars and workshops that I have facilitated in recent years, I repeatedly cite a version of this – it’s not what happens to us that most important – it’s how we respond that really makes the biggest difference.
In late October, I got to brainstorm with nearly 20 consulting colleagues in New York City. One of the topics we discussed concerned factors over the next year that will most affect our practices. (and what we could do now to prepare ourselves, to optimize opportunities and mitigate any possible upcoming concerns) I found to be a helpful conversational dialogue and left with some excellent ideas to follow up on.
With all the changes happening these days on so many levels in so many people’s lives, it reminds of the 1987 book “Thriving on Chaos”, from the international best-selling author, Tom Peters, who co-authored “In Search of Excellence”—the book that is said to have changed the way the world does business, and often tagged as the best business book ever.
What are the “Thriving on Chaos” maxims? The book centers around an applicable and specific set of tasks to achieve”. Peters uses the timeless themes of:
Let me ask you – knowing what you now know, now what? What can and will you do?
Here are some larger level, back-to-basics questions for you to consider for yourself, as you are preparing for your high performance years ahead?
- What has to happen in 2017 as critical foundation work and stepping stones for your success in the following 3-5 years?
- What else can you do to improve your client’s experience and customer service standards?
- What do you see as your best strategies to create new business development in 2017?
- Are your performance-based expectations, roles, goals and responsibilities sufficiently clear, in writing?
- What business management practices do you most need to improve and consistently maintain?
- What are your professional development plans, to grow yourself and keep yourself at the top of your game?
- What are the best ways for you to increase your enthusiasm, positive influences, innovative and creative capabilities?
- In what ways might you be more effectively interdependent and synergistic, in your creative collaborations with others?
- How can you increase your sense of urgency and presence in your life, so that all your relationships are win-win-win and highly effective?
- Anything else that you think you need to now consider, discuss or initiate?
Best-selling 7 Habits author Stephen R. Covey often spoke about Habit 1, Be Proactive, as “focusing on what you can control”
“Instead of reacting to or worrying about conditions over which they have little or no control, proactive people focus their time and energy on things they can control…Proactive people focus their efforts on their Circle of Influence. They work on the things they can do something about: health, children, problems at work. Reactive people focus their efforts in the Circle of Concern – things over which they have little or no control: the national debt, terrorism, the weather. Gaining an awareness of the areas in which we expend our energies in is a giant step in becoming proactive.”
In this light:
- What 2-3 year-end actions do you need to focus on and complete right now, to finish 2016 on the best possible note, regardless of circumstances?
- Said another way, what do you need to accomplish that matters most and that you can control, or nothing else you do will really make a difference?
We invite you to pass this on to anyone for whom you think it would of value/interest.
In the spirit of This Thanksgiving Season, we are gratefully yours, Don
PS – a highly recommended read? Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance (May 3, 2016) by Angela Duckworth (In this instant New York Times bestseller, pioneering psychologist Angela Duckworth shows anyone striving to succeed—be it parents, students, educators, athletes, or business people—that the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent but a special blend of passion & persistence she calls “grit.”)
|Don Sardella / President, Strategic Consultant and Head Coach
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