In these times of ongoing business change - volatility, uncertainty, ambiguity and complexity are plenty. In the military - at their leadership academies - they refer to this as the VUCA world - volatile/uncertain/complex/ambiguous. Not unlike our landscape in business. In fact - one could argue - that it is increasingly more VUCA year upon year - just like the climate change occurring - larger, more intense storms - increasing in frequency - all around our planet.
For us at PV - VUCA implies many more 'intense storms’ - and - 'disruptions' arriving on our workplace doorstep - and in true 'insurance fashion' - we suggest that we are better served to make our preparations prior to the VUCA ‘storms’ of change / increased competition / battling internal egos/ restructures / more acquisitions / automation / the list goes on . Rather than the more common habit... wait for them to strike us - and then try do something to prevent or minimise the impending damage.
Now - like always - is a perfect time to take a close look at your performance prep and execution habits:
_ understand what they are delivering for you that is productive and energetic Vs unproductive and energy sapping. Ask Yourself //
"Is your method of persuading and engaging others to 'perform differently and exceptionally' working effectively - or - are you just telling yourself that it is? What evidence do you have and how accurate is that evidence? What could you do more of - less of - get rid of?"
If you are forming a new team - design the performance habits for that team now - do it before you develop relationships and dynamics of working that are not so productive. [ Hey - it is difficult to change bad habits yeah? We are often so lazy - forming habits that cause us unproductive team issues - and only then do we try and change them!! ] PREPARE // Engineer the team habits and expected performance levels from the 'get go'. That’s what outstanding teams do - design and execute what others are too busy to do. Design and develop the habits that will provide energy for sustainable high performance in tough ‘stormy’ conditions… because this is the new reality.
Interruption and distraction are rampant.
According to recent neuroscience insights - most of our decisions are made at our subconscious level first, well before our conscious mind is in play - So - we are well served by examining and understanding the patterns and routines that we have automatically established for ourselves… and also the many relationships that we have created around us. Ask:
_ Have you ever felt like the same issues keep confronting or obstructing your pathway?
_ Have you ever felt like you continue to attract people and relationships that aren’t ideal for you - or - that hold you back?
Everybody deserves to - and most want to - SHINE in their performances at work and life. Sadly, many do not begin by engineering the way forward through their routines and habits. They think about it - and - do not act.
“We are really going to struggle to hit the sales target this quarter - there has been a lot of change going on!” [ Ok - so there is a VUCA storm - are you a leader that was ready for it and acted - or a victim of it? ]
Sometimes we wait for someone to tell us to change - or - we wait for feedback that says we should change… and then still - we don’t change. These are the life habits of the victim… not the leader. The leader decides to act of their own accord because they have accepted that we live and work with 'VUCA storms' in today’s business environment... so therefore preparation is a vital performance habit.
So why not leave the herd - make the change to your habits - that you already know that you need to make?
If you want extraordinary results - doesn’t that imply that you have to do things that most are willing NOT to do - practice extraordinary habits!! Many of you will be in a ‘VUCA storm’ right now - and - feel there isn’t a way out. Take a moment to gain back some PERSPECTIVE and use CREATIVITY and COURAGE to help you move forward… one step at a time.
.01 Begin with the end in Mind // Re-imagine exactly what you need to achieve / why you need to achieve it / seeing and emotionally connecting to the benefit of achievement for you - and - important others. When you use the mental imagery process - fully activate all of your senses in the vision - not just the visual senses.
.02 Reality Check - Quality Check // Ask yourself - "If I do not change anything within my sphere of control and influence - If I/we do nothing differently - am I/ are we - likely to achieve this outcome? What are we likely to achieve? Who else agrees? How will I feel along the way? Am I working on my Mindset / Nutrition/ Movement / Recovery habits to maximise my performance? Do we want our performance to SHINE after the 'storm' hits us [ and it will hit us ] - or - do we want to look like we are victims of the storm just because we were not well prepared for it in the first place?” Have the courage to be honest with yourself and own where you are today - and - own your next steps.
.03 Small Steps for Support & Momentum // When the ‘storm is really BIG - How do we break the outcome down into very small steps? Are you taking any steps at all - or- just thinking about them? Who would be willing 'to be and do the extra-ordinary’ along side you - instead of just the average/normal behaviour that we are used to? Who could support you in taking the next step - making the next play? Who could you support to change?
Something that we have learnt from working along side outstanding performers - in particular elite athletes and special forces military personnel - is that the bigger the 'VUCA Storm', the smaller the steps of success we should take. Their mindset is conditioned to respond to immediate adversity with small step momentum… that is - when you believe that you can’t make it to the end of the mission - or even through the next part of the mission…. just take one more step - because we can always take one more step. Always. So - one by one… build the momentum with small steps. They understand that this is a high performance habit to rehearse and prepare with - that taking 'one more step' - even when I believe that I can’t… will always result in progress. Progress results in increased energy. Increased energy results in the increased capacity to do - to execute. Increased capacity means I can unleash my otherwise exhausted skills. Here is the rub -
...unless I rehearse this habit well before the storm - I'm likely to be too tired - and - undisciplined to use it when the storm actually hits.
Doing the work to condition my neural structures to perform automatically - creating the habit - is what sets the elite apart from those that just dream of shining.
We all feel like we can't take one more step from time to time - but imagine for a moment when you have observed the person who does exactly that... takes one more step - then another - and other and progresses onto triumph and achieve in the face of defeat. Do you not admire that performance more - does that performance not inspire you - does that performance not shine more brightly because of their character and courage to do exactly what most of us wouldn't...
As always - I'm keen to hear your thoughts - how do your habits help you SHINE?
// Glen Fisher
FOUNDER & CEO