A great friend told me that when we started our business that despite the strong headwinds, he admired that we were going to launch it. He complimented the innovative approach and the creativity that our new business was bringing to the market to address an issue before it became a significant problem. I must say that I was inspired and motivated.
What head winds? Sure there is a significant downturn in our economy, one of the worst times since the early 80’s. But this is the time to change things. Surely this is the time to take and reset the table for the better times. The downturn in the economy can’t be the excuse for not building and providing a solution to the market that needs a solution. So off we went to deliver our services.
Ah, but then it became clear what my friend meant. Those headwinds were not the economy, rather they were things like fear, perception and lack of knowledge.
Lack of knowledge can be fixed. Many things have changed, so that is easy. Put together information sessions, get the word out, tweet, get LinkedIn, blog, get an informational brochure, etc. Feed the world the knowledge that they never knew they needed or didn’t know was readily available.
But how do you tackle fear and perception? Perception can be what someone wants it to be. It can be their crutch for not acting. Their excuse for not wanting to know any better. Their rationale that everything is fine as it is. “Hey, we have always done it this way and nothing has gone wrong so far.” Why fix something that isn’t broken? I had a meeting with an organization and asked straight up, “Is this problem that we are trying to help you solve, one that you want to solve?” The answer was yes. Then what stops you? Someone powerful on the executive refuses to understand the solution. What does that mean? You’re too new, your solution is too creative; it’s not something that they have seen before. We don’t need to meet with them. Not now. So then what does that leave? Fear. Do we live in a world where we fear new things? Do we fear taking our heads out of the sand to look at how the world has changed around us? Do we still use the phrase, “That’s not how we got it done in the good old days?” What is it that we fear? I admire the next generation who looks at the world with laser eye surgery and not any specific colored glasses.
Perhaps, Marshall Goldsmith, had it right in his book “What got you Here, won’t get you There”. The most successful people adopt and adapt their behaviors and attitudes despite the strong headwinds saying no, don’t. Not now.