These eight brain directs are really strategies to help you stay focused on opportunities for growth, progress and achievement even as our work world becomes more volatile, uncertain chaotic and ambiguous. (See more on VUCA.)
To help us all stay grateful, and rather than becoming anxious and bitter, transform ourselves into opportunity-generating machines, I’m sharing eight brain redirects you need right now. That’s because your brain DEFAULTS to protecting you from wild animals and savage attacks.
8 Brain Redirects You Need RIGHT NOW
1. Default focus is on yourself. Redirect to OTHERS!
Uncertainty often submerges people inside their thoughts. To be productive, ask yourself how can you help others. This is the time to expand your connection with others and focus on helping them. That redirect will come across as pure confidence.
2. Default focus is on your offering. Redirect to relationships.
By “your offering” I mean whatever it is you do for a living. Could be company finances, IT support, quality assurance. Of course you keep doing your job as best you can. However, by building relationships right now, doing your job may very well get easier down the road.
3. Default focus is P&L or sales. Redirect to creating value.
The default is to worry about revenues, or profitability. That is a key aspect of keeping people employed. However, when crisis hits, shift your team’s focus to develop new ways of creating value. You may need to experiment.
Keep asking yourself and others, “How can we create new value?”
4. Default focus is on losses. Redirect to opportunities.
These opportunities may be current or they may be potential opportunities. Certain revenue streams may be gone for now, or gone forever. Don’t keep trying to replay your old game. Start a new game with new ideas, new energies, new tools and new resources.
5. Default focus is on problems. Redirect to progress.
Problems are always with us and often we don’t think we have made progress until it’s a significant advance. To keep everyone motivated, you want to seek progress, even if it’s in millimeters, not meters, or yards.
Keep your eye peeled for ANY step in the right direction and recognize it.
6. Default focus is on the future. Redirect to the present.
We thought we were in control. Sadly, neither you nor I are managing the universe. The people who are supposed to be in charge (aka politicians) literally have no idea what they’re doing.
You know how when you study a war, or battle, in high school or college, it’s presented so nicely and compact. Like Napoleon marched his soldiers to the East, the Russian winter came, the battle was over.
Reading Volume i of The Last Lion, the definitive Winston Churchill biography, I learned that the unflappable British were literally flying by the seats of their pants in both WWI and WWII. Of course, in each of these wars, it was the excellent US military that saved Europe’s buttocks, but even Patton and other players in WWII squabbled and bickered like middle schoolers on the playground. And then we won.
So nobody’s got a grand plan. If we get presented with one, it will be highly flawed and poorly followed. That’s why radical self reliance is such a good idea.
Focus on what’s in front of you right now.
7. Default focus is on events. Redirect to your responses.
These events are out of control, our responses are not.
What kind of person do you want to be. What kind of legacy do you want to leave. How do you want to describe this time five years from now?
These are all good questions to ponder to fuel the way you want to respond to these new challenges.
8. Default focus is on complaints that are highly justified and would stand up in a court of law. Redirect to gratitude, for the sake of your own happiness.
You know the drill. Gratitude is the only path to happiness. This is no exception.
This is your time. My time. We were made for this challenge and let’s get together and get through this!
I am here for you. Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org if maybe I can help!