Much is written in business circles of visualizing your success. Well for astronauts, it is quite the reverse, they spend considerable time visualizing failure; simulating what they would do if something went wrong -- and in space, the scope is unlimited. As business owners we need to do that too and be prepared for what could go wrong, with a plan B (or C) in our back pocket.
Strangely enough today's business environment reflects the internal and external struggles of illness. Businesses regularly forego profits to throw money at customer surveys, logistics, marketing, and technology to keep their customers happy. Just as your body starts to fail from constant stress or neglected disease, a business with a corporate culture that is toxic to its employees starts to shut down.
Unlike animals, human beings have successfully developed the capacity to think about what is not immediately going on around them and to contemplate events that happened in the past or might possibly happen in the future. While this capacity called imagination can be a blessing, it can be a curse at the same time.
A while ago, I had the opportunity to witness the demonstration of an avalanche airbag. The space created by the airbag can save lives in a situation that would otherwise bear the imminent risk of suffocation. I was immediately aware of the symbolism: Metaphorically speaking, our packed days and weeks are like avalanches, rolling over our heads and burying us underneath them. As in a real avalanche, the key lays in creating space.
Not enough young people believe they can change the world on a global scale. The problem is a mindset problem, and one I believe is more dire than some might think. Too many young entrepreneurs think they're rock stars by launching another social network, or naming themselves the CEO of the world's 498th messaging app. Honestly, they're probably wasting their time.
With the news programs blaring the most recent political scandals, it's hard to remember that there are positive things happening in the world and leaders who are inspiring heart-centred change. It's integral that we maintain a healthy, higher perspective about what really matters and share it with our communities.
Toronto is a rapidly growing city, one facing pressures on infrastructure, concerns about congestion of cars on roads, and the need for better mass transit. Toronto is a city beset by economic inequality. These are all issues that need to be seriously dealt with, not sidelined by the distractions of a mayor clearly unfit for office.
Most of what I am about to tell you is contrary to what you might have been taught or have come to believe in. I have to share this with you because it's just too good not to and because it's something that we need to place more emphasis on. It began with that one word, the one that sometimes we're even afraid to say. Are you ready?
I sought to find my inner force through Institute B's second Changemakers workshop on "Authentic Leadership". Institute B is a Vancouver-based startup accelerator that provides guidance, funding and education to local entrepreneurs and their nascent companies. Institute B focuses on helping socially-conscious companies and people whom do not sacrifice making the world better for profit.
At the Wisdom 2.0 Business conference, I experienced this raw honesty over and over. It was truly moving. At one point, there were over 200 diverse people, coming from various backgrounds, chanting OM together then revering the silence that came after. It wasn't our titles or egos or the performance of our last quarter that brought us together.