Thursday, February 19, 2009

Pain and Rescue

Listen to your Dad they say, and I do. Indeed, I am one of the multitude who listens to "Dad" GL Hoffman over at What Would Dad Say. If you follow these postings you will know that this not the first time you have seen him referred to in this space and I am sure it won't be the last.

Part of my admiration comes from the fact that more often than not Hoffman says what I've been thinking only faster, better and with more impact. Other than that he is nothing special.

Nonetheless, if you are not a follower, check out his recent post Pain and Rescue. He makes, as usual, a very good point.

While for sure much of the doom and gloom to which we are subjected 24/7 is very real, it is also true that attitude plays a big role in the mix and certainly has a good deal to do with how we all respond.

I am in no way suggesting that the "pain" isn't real - it is all too real. On the other hand I can't help but be reminded of the old and well-known quote attributed to everyone from Vince Lombardi to Billy Ocean: "When the going gets tough, the tough get going."

While the lion's share of membership here at ExecuNet is made up of executives who are currently working, for sure, and as you might expect, we have seen a significant influx of those who through no fault of their own, aren't.

Having been there a couple of times myself, and while I can't speak for how anyone else might feel or react, I would like to think that at least I can empathize based on personal experience.

As GL's post points out, the media in particular works overtime sharing all the bad news with us and very little, if any, of the "wins." Maybe the "wins" aren't happening as fast as any of us would like, but they are happening.

It is easy for us all to look behind us and wring our hands and kick the dog. In some cases that might be easier than facing an unknown future because bad as it might be at least with the past we are dealing with known vs. the unknown. On the other hand, the energy we invest in backward looks is energy that is not getting us to our future.

When I talk to our members about things like this, I keep trying to remind them that as tough as things might be right now, they need to remember that the skills that made them successful in their former lives were not driven by what the economy was or wasn't doing so much as what they as individuals brought to the enterprise.

Your expertise travels with you and while it certainly is not easy, the challenge and opportunity now is simply one of their deciding how and where you are going to take it and making sure that in the process you don't forget to bring along the positive attitude that helped you and others get there in the first place.

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