man it’s dark out there

December 3, 2008 at 10:49 pm | Posted in Business, Professional Development | Leave a comment

Coaches love catchy little sayings. I mean, we are full of ’em. I still remember these from various locker rooms over the years:

“You can measure a thoroughbreds speed with a stop watch, but it takes a race to measure his heart”

“Fatigue makes cowards of us all.”

“Character is what you do when nobody is watching.”

And there were countless others. So the other day I was giving an interview and was asked about the economy. I tend to be overly blunt sometimes, so I apparently gave an answer that seemed a bit depressing. My coworker who was there said, “That’s a great downer to end on!” And immediately, one of those slogans from coaching days past sprung to mind, and I added, “But you know, the darker it is around you, the brighter you can shine.”

I do believe that. I have blogged in the past about measuring your worth. I’ve talked about getting honest feedback and knowing where you stand. I’ve talked about differentiation and why it’s important that you know where you stand, whether your company is telling you they buy into differentiation or not. Why? Because right now, you’re being differentiated. We all are. More than ever. You can…

1) Panic.

2) Be grateful and sit around happy that you still have a job.

3) Make a name for yourself.

#1 is unproductive and unhealthy for some obvious reasons I won’t get into. I think you should ALWAYS do #2, but by itself, it leads to complacency. So there is no better time than right now to execute #3 with a passion. Your company needs you now more than ever. They need bright, passionate, dedicated, people who can find solutions to really difficult problems. This is a great challenge for all of us to find out what we’re made of. We will emerge from these tough times. But we can’t miss the chance to GROW through them. If we do, we — and our companies — will be so much stronger on the other end. One more sign than hung in our weight room:

“Without great challenge, there cannot be great accomplishment.”

Sometimes those corny signs make a lot of sense.

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