We should all take a lesson
from Chicken Little. Remember the story from your childhood?
A 21st Century version is available
here. In short, Chicken Little was hit on the head
by a falling acorn and, convinced the sky was falling, went screeching
through the neighborhood working Goosey Loosey, Ducky Lucky et. al.
into a frenzy about the end of the world.
Today, Chicken Little
takes the form of mass media and the role of the acorn is played by
a few economists competing for their own 15 minutes of fame. Technically,
we haven't had a "recession", but thanks to what we've read
and heard we've convinced ourselves to the contrary and proven it with
reduced sales and layoffs. We think, therefore we are.
And when we think,
it rubs off on everyone around us. Our friends and colleagues,
our customers and employees. Misery loves company
and it's not hard to get attendance at a pity fest. We create
a downward spiral and it shows up on the sales line and the unemployment
line until finally the pain gets so great we begin to move away from
it. By the end of September 2000 the most common phrase heard
at my local pub was something to the effect of: "I'm so tired of
watching Tom Brokaw and CNN I had to come in for a beer."
Imagine that. Sadly no one suggested that a basket of fish &
chips might also help relieve the pain. Think "snowball"
and "trickle down."
Granted, we've redefined
the definition of 911 from it's early days as a fine German sports car
to an emergency number and finally to the day when the world stood still.
For all the bad news, the silver lining on the glass that's half full
is our renewed sense of patriotism, long overdue increased airport security
measures and a boost in the economy as we march to Maslow's Hierarchy
of Need moving away from pain faster than we move toward pleasure.
So next time, let's
invert the hierarchy and employ a little of my now famous contrarian
thinking and move toward pleasure more frequently. It's about
choice, what you choose becomes your reality. No, I'm not over
medicating my Prozac and no I'm not hugging trees in my Birkenstocks
because I've lived in California too long. It's not "the
answer" but wouldn't you rather live in a world where you believe
you can rather than a world where you believe you can't?
Those opposable thumbs
at the end of your arms are linked to a mighty big brain that typically
is operating at about 20% of capacity -- similar to the software on
your home computer. No upgrade to V2.0 is required we simply just need
to use these "Beautiful Mind"s in a different light and not
be afraid to change our formula to achieve our desired result.
Think: Definition of Insanity.
If you're looking for
work and constantly get the "we're not hiring" outgoing message
then change your approach. Quit calling the HR department and/or
responding to ads and figure out who you want to work for, what you
want to do and where and call the person you'd be reporting to.
Instead of asking for a job, ask if they'd like to see some new solutions
to the challenges their facing that you've uncovered through your brilliant
If there's a big negative
number on the sales line or no room in the warehouse for more inventory
reinvent the way you market and tell the operators to get out of the
office and behind the register. What gets talked about gets done.
I've always found it interesting that when sales slow down the first
group to go is the marketing department -- the ones responsible for
driving the business. Instead of giving the operators the tools
they need to get the business, marketing lay-offs are then embellished
with discounts that "buy" the customers business and make
it harder to go back to full price "when the economy" improves.
WE are the economy.
We just don't think we are.
course this is only my opinion, but itís one I value highly.