Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Connect The Dots When Lean Times Are Ahead

As I suspected months ago, the early signs of lean times are showing. The economy is slowing down – just read the national indicators for trade and industry, global news, and online patterns of behaviors.

What do you do when times are hard? Make hay while the sun shines. Strike while the iron is hot. Sharpen your saw.

System thinking teaches us to think in details as well as in big picture. The ability to chunk up, and chunk down helps us connect some of dots behind us, as well as ahead of us. Steve Jobs said in 2005 that he could connect the dots behind us, however we can lay down some of these dots ahead of us. The world is scattered with dots, some of these are obvious and others elusive. We need to learn how to lay a path to our future using some of these dots. These dots include our reference points such as our milestones, experiences, capabilities and relationships.

If the Six Degrees of Separation is a theory to be considered, time for us to reduce this deficit with active connectivity. Give yourself a kick on your butt. Nudge others around you out of their stasis. Waiting is a deathtrap waiting to be sprung. Activate whatever you fear the most. Scare yourself into admission instead of submission. Time to stop denying, and start doing.

Being broad-minded and open-minded is part of our education. Stop being one-sided and bias through your profession and organisation. Information flows on many levels and platforms, so we need to source, track, use, and evaluate it. Too much information can confuse, so we need to sort it and ourselves out.

What endurance sports have taught us are the values of patience, determination and persistence. Also, it is about preparation for a purpose, and executing a plan to perfection. These things help us connect the dots to our dreams, goals and aspirations. Becoming lean is part of the process of becoming fit and attaining athletic excellence. Fattening up before a race can help us retain our strength and power. Being lean can help us move faster, and even accelerate.

Leadership Lessons: Study patterns around you. Make mental connections. Seize opportunities to connect with others, although respectfully. Stop selling to your family and friends. It can still be business as usual, if you apply uncommon sense. Perhaps moving salmon-style, we can reverse the flow of the inevitable. Buck the trend by doing different things. Denounce the naysayers who have no track record of progress or achievement. Marry theory with practice and a sense of pragmatism. Keep lean, stay lean and be strong.

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