Congratulations! You’re still in the game. You’re still swinging for the fences. You’ve taken everything 2016 can throw at you and you made it through. If you’re like everyone else around you, you’re a little bit bruised and battered. You’re more than a little bit tired. But you’re also amazed by what you’ve been through. You’ve experienced incredible change at every level. You’ve witnessed things that no one could have predicted. You feel like after everything that has happened over the last twelve months, nothing can surprise you anymore.
Well, I’ve got news for you. It’s just the beginning. 2016 was one long training program for 2017. I’ve seen the future and it doesn’t look pretty. It looks phenomenal. It looks huge. It looks like nothing I’ve ever seen before. I’m scared in the best possible way. I don’t know what I don’t know. But I know enough to anticipate the most powerful trends that will help you win in 2017.
A trend is a direction in which things are moving. It is a signal of where things are going. It’s a wave that sweeps everything else along with it. The more powerful the trend, the greater its influence. If you’re ignorant of the trends, you cannot surf them. You cannot make the forces work for you. They may even crush you. But if you know the trends, you can get ahead of them. You can use their momentum to carry you along. As Walt Disney said, “find a parade and get in front of it.”
The future belongs to those who can anticipate it. Success is where opportunity meets preparation and winning comes from being more prepared than anyone else to succeed. That’s my mission in this message. I want to help you prepare for 2017 so you can win whatever game you’re playing. My only request of you is that you pay it forward. Remember: you get what you get because you give what you give. If you want it all, you better give it your all.
So here are the ten most powerful trends that I believe will help you win in 2017. I’ve identified these trends by interviewing hundreds of influential people and researching multiple sources through my work with Environics and the media. As I walk you through the trends, think about how you can leverage them in your favour.
The first trend is the rise in “Vital-action”. This is the state of being strong and active. It is the quality of personal energy. It comes from having a strong purpose and taking action to achieve it. Movement is the new movement. From Donald Trump to Justin Trudeau, leaders are encouraging their communities to rise above their circumstances to create new ones. Sitting still is not an option. You cannot afford to wait and see what happens. You need to act and cause things to happen. This is 2017 where anything is possible.
The second trend is the rise in Intensification. Sweat the small stuff because there is no small stuff. Everything matters. Emotions are embedded in every situation. Winning means getting the granular issues right. It means doing the fundamentals extraordinarily well. It demands wholehearted commitment to every endeavor every day. It requires a passion for the grind that sharpens you up not wears you down. Every contest is being closely fought. Victory is being measured in inches. It’s always very, very personal.
The third trend is the rise in “Voloptimism” This is the fusion of volatility and optimism. It means interpreting disruptive change as opportunities to innovate and grow, not withdraw and divorce. The winning mindset in 2017 will be expansionary. It’s all about engagement not withdrawal. Now is the time to reach out and touch as many people as possible because if you don’t, other winners will. Crises are the raw material of radical breakthroughs.
The fourth trend is the rise in Transparency. Full disclosure is the only way to play. Whatever you hide will come back to haunt you. Authenticity amplifies your authority. Put it out there. If you see it, say it. Surprise people to the upside. Never let them find out what you should have told them in the first place. At some point, things will go wrong. Straight talk is the only way to put them right. Trust carries a higher premium than ever before.
The fifth trend is the rise in Community-Alliances. The world may be full of opportunities but is also full of threats. Our enemies and nemesis have never been more lethal. Right now, they’re plotting to take what is rightfully ours. They’re planning their next assault on our well being and prosperity. It’s going to take more than a village to triumph. It’s going to take multiple communities. Winners are collaborating at a whole new level to align with like-minded stakeholders. They’re constantly campaigning for the votes of the people who count. That’s what I’m doing right now. I’m recruiting you to my cause so you call me when you need someone to motivate and inspire your team, not the other guy. And by the way, the time to get motivated is before you need to get motivated. I’m just saying. Call me now.
The sixth trend is the rise in Personalization. Nobody wants to be one of a million. We all want to be one in a million. Winners are getting up, close and personal with their customers. They are using all the available data to know more about their customer’s needs and wants than anyone else. They are using technology to customize their offering. Robo-advisers Like Wealthsimple are building the best investment portfolios for us. Apple is curating our playlists. Amazon is anticipating our daily shopping sprees. I’m preparing this message for winners like you. I’m tailoring my programs specifically to the needs of each and every audience. One size fits no-one any more.
The seventh trend is the rise in “True-Fiction”. Oxford Dictionaries has chosen “post-truth” as its international word of the year for 2016. It defines the word as an adjective “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” Fiction is more powerful than facts because fiction is what you do with the facts. According to a study by Pew Research Center, 44% of us read our news on Facebook. It may be fake news but that distinction is irrelevant to the people influenced by it. People don’t buy the truth, they buy belief. Winners tell stories in such a way that they challenge and affirm others at the same time. Just like I’m doing now. Lipkin’s Ten Most Powerful Trends To Help You Win In 2017 is my story of how to succeed. I could be wrong, although based on my track record, it’s not likely.
The eighth trend is the rise in Utility. Utility is defined as the state of being useful, productive or profitable. If you want to go far, travel light. Make everything work harder for you. There is always more toothpaste in the tube. Share your assets so you can make them pay. It could be your bedroom, your car, your office, your network, your money or your time. Overheads can become get-aheads if you use them wisely. Do more with what you have. Redeploy it or get rid of it. And be the most valuable person to the people who are most valuable to you.
The ninth trend is the rise in Diversity. According to the Pew Research Centre, millennials are now the biggest cohort in the workplace, followed by Gen Xers and boomers. Women are also taking charge. In 2017, expect to see more companies take action to ensure that more females occupy powerful positions. Immigrants in the United States and their U.S.-born children now number approximately 81 million people, or 26 percent of the overall U.S. population. In 2014 alone, 1.3 million people immigrated to the US, an 11 percent increase versus the previous year. In 2016, Canada welcomed a record 321 000 new immigrants. The increase in immigration numbers is the largest in more than a century. So unleash your inner immigrant. Embrace views that are different from your own. Reflect the society you represent. Break down the barriers if you want to break through to the next level.
The final trend is the rise in “Everyday-Heroism” The future is being created by ordinary people who take disproportionate responsibility. They are the extra milers. They have a built in sense of accountability to do the things that need to be done. They refuse to let things slide. They speak truth to power. They have the courage and conscience to hold others to account. They are the heartbeat of any organization or community. If you are an everyday-hero, I salute you. If you’re not, make sure you stay very close to someone who is.
This is Mike Lipkin and those are my ten winning trends for 2017: Vital-action, Intensification, Voloptimism, Transparency, Community-Alliances, Personalization, True-Fiction, Utility, Diversity and Everyday Heroism. Use them to make 2017 your best year ever. And remember, I’m always here to help you get there faster, higher, smarter, better, stronger. Hoo-ah!