Hi everyone, this is Mike Lipkin and welcome to the hottest summer on record. The world is heating up in every way. From actual climate change to geopolitical instability to supply chain disruption to economic volatility to food and energy insecurity to labour shortages to rising interest rates and inflation to recessionary slowdowns, we’re facing an unprecedented convergence of crises and fear. Hooah, this summer is going to be a doozy.
My question to you is what kind of summer are you going to have? Will you be swept away by fear uncertainty, and doubt? Or will you make hay while the sun shines? It’s your choice, no matter what the circumstances. In fact, the greater the external disruption, the greater your impact can be. When people are running scared, fortune favours the brave and the well prepared.
In my role as a social researcher and leadership coach, I’m seeing Five Explicit Success Trends that differentiate the winners from the strugglers. Here they are:
- Prepare for Perma-Chaos: Black Swans are flying in flocks. According to a recent McKinsey global survey of senior executives, the biggest black swan, Covid, has receded to a relatively minor concern compared to the threat of global geopolitical instability, inflation, rising interest rates and labour shortages. Overlaying these macrosystemic threats, are the technological and behavioural shifts impacting every single business. And that’s before we even consider the huge changes we’re all navigating in our personal lives. And the good news is that it only becomes more unpredictable from here. So prepare for a permanent surprise – to the upside, downside and all sides. It’s not just about tolerance for ambiguity and fluidity, it’s about developing a passion for them.
- Form Alliances with Champion Partners. In the New Abnormal, the winners are multiplying their expertise, enriching their perspectives and expanding their influence by aligning with the best players in their category. They’re networking and connecting with like-minded leaders who can help them turn ambition into impact. They are making outreach programs an urgent priority – both in-person and online. As importantly, they know what they can give so they earn what they get. They persuade Champion Partners to ally with them by communicating the value they deliver.
- Build Personal Evidence-Based Optimism. There are always reasons to believe in the future, no matter what the immediate situation. Winners are continually building their case for optimism. They’re doing their learning and learning by doing. They’re failing fast and they’re failing forward. They’re gathering experience through experimentation. They’re celebrating their wins and letting go of their mistakes. The tougher it gets, the more resilient they become. As long as they’re in the game, they search for a way to win, while they empower others to win.
- Do The Right Thing On Purpose. Talent follows vision. Trust comes from executing on one’s vision. Making a difference is how winners make their money. They get paid very well to pay it forward. They’re clear on their commitments and they communicate them with clarity. They’re intentional in their actions because every action matters. They know it’s not enough just to do the right thing, they have to share WHY they’re doing it. Actions may speak louder than words but words make the actions louder. They walk the talk and talk the talk because the two are entirely interdependent. To quote an African proverb: words cut down trees. The axe is just an instrument.
- Show Joy and Compassion. For many people, work is a source of stress and unhappiness. According to Gallup, a leading human capital firm, 41% of employees experience worry every day, 50% experience stress and only 10% feel that they are treated with respect the whole day. Only half feel that they can live comfortably on their current income. In other words, life is hard and it only gets harder from here. The winners show their compassion for their colleagues through engagement and empathy. They understand that the roles could be reversed at any moment. They also bring joy, no matter what their mood. I call it authentic acting – act like the best version of yourself and you’re far more likely to become it.
If you like this message, check out my newest book, The Potentiator. Or connect with me to explore how we can empower your team with these success trends. Until then, bask in the sunshine but don’t get burnt. Here’s to the best summer ever!