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The Wheel Turns

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This will not be an article about the coronavirus or the political shifts that have happened. We have all probably seen, heard, and thought too much about those events. It is not surprising that your social feeds, mailboxes, and screens are filled with mayhem. After all, chaos sells.

Let’s face it, the world is developing into something we really have no idea about. The only visions we have are created by our imaginations, fears, and memories. Older generations are looking at younger generations with puzzled looks. As I covered in my January column, you can just hear the old man rants—the very same that previous generations said when I was younger. 

Well will you look at us now! We are so consumed with the ideals of what used to be and what we had that we are now inheriting personas by bashing current events—because they are not old events. This mindset comforts our failures by blaming them on a politician, law, or generation. We, the current leaders, are quickly becoming the grumbling old man in the wood shed hiding from change and encasing himself in what used to be. 


Identify the Variables

So how do we change this inevitable rant? After all, the times have changed and will again.  I talk a lot on goal-setting and your path as the most essential elements in your success.  In your path work, you must realize that there are variables along the way. 

It is your ability to categorize and process variables that will lead to success or failure of your goals. These variables can be broken down to influence and uninfluenced variables.  

Influenced variables are mainly in your control and require a discipline of, “I hold the chips.”

These are things that happen in your life due to your actions that will affect your outcome. If your goal is to open a second location but you really like vacationing on the islands, your influenced variable solely depends on if you can put down the suntan lotion and pick up the wrench. 

The majority of obstacles you face can be easily conquered because they are in your control. When we fail at influenced variables, it is because we failed to alter our actions to eliminate the variable.  

An uninfluenced variable exists when an outside force pushes against your progress. This is all those things you're reading on Facebook now. The outside influences, the laws, those kids, the virus, the world. This is where we throw our hands up and admit defeat. It is outside of our control so what can we do? 

"If we fail to plan, we plan to fail!”

This has been one of the most powerful training quotes that has been attributed to tons of leaders over the past 100 years. 


Plan Carefully, Act Decisively

The challenge is planning for something you have no control over. In reality, you cannot truly plan for the unknown, you can only plan that the unknown will happen. This type of fluid thinking allows you to set goals but vary on actions with contingencies and the freedom of knowing that a goal can be achieved in many different ways.  

Once you can distinguish that an objection is uninfluenced by your actions, you can pivot your goals to accept the new challenges and create plans not to overcome these variables, but to create alternative plans that bring you to the same end result. It is the change in all of us that makes us successful, and the unwillingness to change makes all of us obsolete.

Look at the successes in our industry that converted business models from drive-up to drive-thru. Recall the manufacturers that quickly developed cleaners to help assure customers of their health inside their vehicles and the association leaders that immersed themselves in tax laws for assistance funding through government programs  

Outside of our industry, liquor manufactures became hand sanitizer makers, car assembly lines now they are equipping ventilators and restaurants were quickly buying up tents and plowing through their gardens to make drive thru locations. It has been wonderful to see the reaction of so many determined entrepreneurs and leaders changing quickly to recognize the uninfluenced variables and alter their plans to achieve their goals.   

Change is inevitable, so changing your outlook on changing is the only thing that can keep you on your path to your success. If you truly believe in your goals, everything in the way is just an obstacle. 

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