I remember a conversation that I had with Todd shortly after the quarantine went into effect. I forget who called who but we were just being good homies and checking in on one another. We are always brutally honest with each other so there was no reason not to believe him when he told me that he was just fine. He sounded calm and collected. I felt the same. No panic. Worry was manageable. It wasn’t too much different than our normal check-ins. By no means did we have answers but we were confident that we would find them. It wasn’t until a Faction member asked about our composure through the first weeks that the lessons became apparent.
As the days passed and things got more intense, the Faction leadership team made it a point to keep our finger on the pulse of the people we served. Weekly check-ins turned into daily reassurances and strategy sessions. Our messages and focus shifted almost as frequently as we were all confronted with challenges that none of us had ever encountered before. Collectively, we faced problems that ranged from financial stress to how to adapt family life. As sick as we all were of hearing the term, it was truly unprecedented.
Weeks passed and we saw a trend. The overwhelming majority of the Faction was doing just fine. Our people lost clients here and there but the majority of them were still holding court almost to a normal capacity. How did we do it? And when I say “we” I mean the Faction as a whole. It’s important for me to distinguish that because that’s how the Faction works. We solve problems together. And that’s the first part of the answer.
Together, More Is Possible:
Community is a term that just gets beat to shit in our industry. It’s unfortunate because it really is a vital piece to the puzzle of success. Find people you trust. Keep constant contact with them in order to give your talks more context. Learn. Share. Learn more. Share more. You might not have answers and really, who does? That’s ok. It’s the learning and sharing perspectives that is the good stuff. If anything, the past three months have made me very cynical of “answers”. One person’s “answer” is another’s dead end. Context is important and we need to be able to apply what we learn to our own individual situational nuances. That’s when the magic happens.
Well shit, if “answers” aren’t the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow what the hell are we looking for?! Here’s what we have found works and the exact reason Todd and I were able to keep our shit together when there were no answers. Principles.
Having a correct answer changes in accordance to what the question is. It’s not very malleable. Establishing your core principles gives you a very flexible way to address every question you can face in uncertain times. There’s still work to do with figuring out how to reapply your principles to an unusual challenge, but if you did your due diligence in setting your guiding principles, then the rest of the foot work is fairly simple.
Setting your principles takes time, experience, and trial and error to get right. It’s a living document that can change as stress tests it’s efficacy. That’s just fine and dandy. Having something to work off of gives you a real big jump on where you would be starting from scratch each time you take one in the kisser. It’s your GPS. Your sherpa. Your principles don’t provide answers, but rather guides you to them in the current context. That’s a better setup than thinking that the answers to today’s problems are sustainable through time and change. Both are unstoppable, so act accordingly.
Listing Obstacles and Resources:
Principles are your GPS, listing potential obstacles and resources that will help you navigate those obstacles are your bug-out bag. It’s what you pack for each individual venture into the unknown. You won’t always predict accurately, but if you use your crew to brainstorm possibilities and experiences, your accuracy will increase exponentially. If you combine your resources as you go, then your chance of success goes straight up as well.
How and how fast you react to your environment may mean the difference between success or a shortcoming. Prepare yourself by anticipating obstacles and having a plan on how to overcome them.
Seems almost too simple, yeah? I like simple, and you should too. In complicated times, the last thing you need are complicated methods of resolution. That’s what the Faction is all about, really. Just a bunch of good hearted, like minded strength professionals trying to better themselves and their careers. We’re not looking for answers, we’re just looking to establish our individual process so that facing questions doesn’t become a “start-from-scratch” headache.
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