Look around you and see uncertainty everywhere. Where to turn?
What to do? Desperation screams at you from the TV, the newspaper
and the radio. Tune in and listen to the debacle du jour. Sit
in any organization and feel the stewing sauna of uncertainty.
Facts Are Our Friends: Surround Yourself With Them
Live on a steady diet of facts, in particular, facts you can really
do something about. Fearlessly pursue facts and challenges assumptions,
hearsay and rumors. Whether you are looking for employment, looking
for a spouse, looking for a place to live, a church, a better
Caesar salad, or a future of any kind -- collecting facts about
the situation is the first step on your journey to success. Do
your homework. Be certain of your facts. Lots may be at stake.
Search out three sets of "facts," essential to your success.
first for the facts concerning the future. What's coming that
you need to prepare for, that you can capitalize on, that you
need to defend against?
Then search the hearts and minds of all
the living, breathing human beings with which you are connected
- those wonderful people who make up your world. Discover their
hopes and dreams, their fears and aspirations, so you can create
the ultimate win-win situation: the organization accomplishes
its goals and the individual achieves truly fulfilling success
Then search out facts about your customers,
what they really want and need, so you can help the people deliver
it. These Facts help you develop Line Of Sight and the Learning
necessary to continually Renew yourself and build your future
oriented Pyramid that is an important part of your Legacy.
Wake Up: The Future Is All Around You
You absolutely can know what's coming by just paying attention.
The following story is told about the Buddha.
A traveler meets Buddha on the road. Noticing his huge entourage,
the traveler asks Buddha,
"Are you a god?"
"No," Buddha replies.
"Then are you a saint?"
"No," Buddha answers.
"You must be a prophet, then," the traveler said.
"No" Buddha replied.
Frustrated the traveler exclaims, "If you're not a god, or a saint
or a prophet - then why are all these people following you?"
"Because I'm awake," Buddha replies.
Leaders who are awake - and therefore can help people participate
the future - attract large followings - because they help everyone
Become Your Own Futurist
Tomorrow is coming. Keep your eyes peeled on the horizon, the
future is already forming out there. Become your own futurist
- and develop an entire organization of futurists - by becoming
a dedicated Learner: read a wide variety of journals and newspapers;
talk with people you meet in airplane seats and check-out lines.
Get many eyes on the future. Engage the widest swath of people
in uncovering facts about the future. It's all there to know,
just get out the searchlights and find it.
Shine The Light On Hopes And Dreams: Speak The Language Of Aspiration
Articulate the hopes and dreams of people. Napoleon said. "A leader
is a dealer in hope." He was right. Peter Levi, president of jeans
maker Levi Strauss, said, "No hope, no action." Also true. Give
voice to people's unconscious but deeply rooted yearnings to win
- to be part of an exciting venture - to be part of something
greater and higher - something that makes a difference. Articulate
the unspoken yet deeply driving aspirational forces within us
How do you build that ultimate win-win situation? Get everyone's
hopes and dreams out in the open. Help everyone see the linkage
between fulfilling their hopes and dreams by contributing to the
success of customers and constituents. Then, provide them the
tools and learning environment to be effective in achieving both
their individual and organizational goals.
Conduct A Search And Discovery Mission With Your Customers
Customers have rich fields of facts. Keep the searchlights trained
on them continuously. Build regular and frequent customer feedback
into your on-going activities. Continue to find out what customers
really want and need. Some of the most important "facts" concern
their aspirations, so shine the light on their hopes and dreams.
Customers are the best reality checks on our assumptions. For
example, a big debate raged within one of our companies. Several
executives argued strongly for establishing a "global customer
account management" program. Several others resisted, arguing
that it would only confuse customers and the field sales force
and add to the overhead burden. We suggested that we let the customer
At the next trade show we surveyed our largest customers. All
17 strongly wanted a global account management program. The customers
willingly answered our question, leaving us to wonder what else
we could have asked.
Turn everyone into a 10,000-watt beacon light, fueling the continuous
circle of Renewal that grows and spirals ever upward. Find the
brightest search light, connect it to the power source of facts
and then use it to generate line of sight to the future, employees'
and associates' hopes and dreams and customer needs. That will
help you develop the Learning that is essential to continual Renewal
and the construction of the Pyramid that forms an important part
of the Phoenix's Legacy.
Use the following form to have Jim Belasco and Jerre Stead help you internalize these principles.