The New Reality – how well have you adapted?

“Without the strength to endure the crisis, one will not see the opportunity within. It is within the process of endurance that opportunity reveals itself.”

– Chin-Ning Chu

There is a new reality that we are all operating in!  This new reality started to take shape 3 years ago.  Many people have resisted the idea of a new reality and instead focused on enduring a major bump in the road of our old reality. This is not a long-term winning approach when our reality has indeed changed for good.

Seth Godin does a great job of framing the new reality, calling it “the forever recession.” If you had been paying attention, you would have first recognized this new reality when he first wrote about it on September 21, 2010.  That was more than one year ago!

So my question is…

How well have you adapted to the new reality?

If you paying attention last year, you evolved and re-invented yourself and your organization over the last 12 months to be much stronger and better prepared for this new reality!

Earlier this week, Seth Godin revisited the forever recession.  In this article, he expands on the forever recession and talks about the two races going on; the race to the bottom and the race to the top. The race to the top occurs around what Seth Godin calls the coming revolution.

Many people have been busy the last 3 years adapting in ways that put them on the race to the bottom. The winners (or soon to be winners) have been busy adapting in ways to put them on the race to the top!

These few paragraphs from Seth Godin best summarizes the challenge (and opportunity) we all face…

“Gears are going to be shifted regardless. In one direction is lowered expectations and plenty of burger flipping. In the other is a race to the top, in which individuals who are awaiting instructions begin to give them instead.

The future feels a lot more like marketing–it’s impromptu, it’s based on innovation and inspiration, and it involves connections between and among people–and a lot less like factory work, in which you do what you did yesterday, but faster and cheaper.

This means we may need to change our expectations, change our training and change how we engage with the future. Still, it’s better than fighting for a status quo that is no longer. The good news is clear: every forever recession is followed by a lifetime of growth from the next thing…”

The beginning of a new quarter provides a great opportunity for anyone to engage the future differently!

In fact, repetitive quarterly evaluation and execution plans supported by coaching and course corrections is a strategic advantage for which everyone has access.  It is what you choose to focus on in this process that becomes your distinctive competitive advantage in the coming revolution!

I encourage you to take an hour to think about this on this first weekend of the final quarter of 2011.  But don’t just think about!

Identify some strategic action to take in this race to the top.  Define just 3 leveraged priorities you will focus on in the midst of chaos this quarter.

Then, do as Verne Harnish suggests and get a “peer” coach to help you adapt habits that align with these priorities.  As Verne says about his own efforts with a peer coach, “It’s amazing the changes you can make and the habits you can break when you have to answer to someone besides yourself every day!”  This will help you get in the race.

But this is not sufficient to win this race to the top. You also need a “growth and development” coach, who you meet with once a week or month, to help you perform at your best.  This could be an executive coach, a business coach, or a business mentor.

According to this Fortune article, a July 2011 American Management Association survey found that 50% of the participating companies provided coaching for its mid to senior level staff.

It is no longer sufficient to just develop and maximize your strengths and minimize your weaknesses to win the race to the top.  That might keep you in the race but it will not allow you be a winner in the race to the top.  You now need a different kind of support team around you to help make you a winner on that race!

A “peer” coach and a “growth and development” coach should be on your team!  They will help you successfully adapt to our new reality.

© Copyright 2011 Jon L. Iveson, Ph.D.

Jon L. Iveson, Ph.D, is a business growth expert who works with companies that have BIG goals or MAJOR challenges which require Teamwork that Scales(TM) and delivers compounding results. To learn more visit

Posted by: Jon Iveson

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