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[Line of Sight]

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.
* Search 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 for himself/herself.
* 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 achieve success.

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

[Man]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 all.

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.

[Woman]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 decide.

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.

Phoenix Workshop

Use the following form to have Jim Belasco and Jerre Stead help you internalize these principles.

What trends do you see coming that will impact your future?

What can you read to help you discover the trends before they impact you?

With whom can you talk (in offices and check-out lines) that can help you anticipate what's coming?

How can you engage a broad cross section of people to search for facts about the future?

Email Address:
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Copyright 2001-2009, Dr. James A. Belasco, Ph.D.

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