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10 Responses

  1. Will, you nailed it.

    As an entrepreneur and employer for more than 20 years, I have experienced this many, many times:

    1) Employees who act and work intrapreneurially are indispensable. When times get tough I will re-train or shift them into a new position if they think and act as an owner. Innovative and energetic employees are indespensible.

    2) Companies who show they care are in high demand. Employees who echo that in their work create remarkable companies. That cycle creates phenomenal success. That’s the formula.

    3) When an employee has the epiphany that they ARE the company, amazing things happen. Things like raises, bonuses and perks. These are a direct result of companywide performance increases (sales increases, cost reductions, margin increases, new products, new services, etc…). BE the performance increase, and viola! Most of the time, the perks will happen.

    Lastly: If you’re an employee, and your job sucks. You’re not happy. Not doing what truly feeds your life and soul, do you and your employer a favor: move-on, or find your REAL pursuit of happiness inside your company. You may be surprised to find an open ear in HR or over lunch with your boss or the CEO.

    And more importantly, you’ll find life much more colorful, radiant and rewarding.

    Your dog will like you better when you quit kicking him when you get home.

    Your spouse will find you sexier. The clouds will open. Angels will sing. Really.

    Will, thanks for the sage advice, and for your seasoned and uniquely positive message today. It’s absolutely refreshing.

    Mark Alan Effinger

  2. Beautiful. We have to re-invent ourselves in this times from the inside out. We cannot change the world but we can change our innerworld and thus the immediate world around us. Vibrating to a higher frecuency of love, compansion, joy, creativeness, hope, and high expectation, focusing our heart, mind, soul and body on the good in us, around us, this multiplies, as well as in the good we can do right now for ourselves and the people around us which is the same, prepares the outcome of the better.

  3. Starbucks is not as socially or environmentaly responsable as it seems here only a few percentage of the coffee they use comes from environmental/socially sustainable producers.

  4. Your post is very thoughtful, engaging and spot on.

    William Bridges wrote a book called Job Shift quite some time ago in which he talked about the job as an artifact of the industrial revolution. I think you describe that phenomena well here and provide excellent advice on navigating successfully into the future.

    Our model for structuring organizations by jobs and functions in a hierarchy worked well when we operationalized things that could work like a machine, but today’s organizations don’t follow Newtons mechanistic laws. Complexity rules. We all have a lot to learn about how to create value for the future. As as individuals it behooves us to rethink our context for work if we truly want to thrive going forward.

  5. Some food for thought.

    “We cannot solve the significant problems we face at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.” – Albert Einstein

    “The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence; it is to act with yesterday’s logic.” – Peter Drucker

    “We never step twice into the same stream.” – Epictetus

    ‘The best preparation for good work tomorrow is to do good work today.” – Elbert Green Hubbard

    “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” Take Action; Walk the talk; Be not afraid, which is a form of resistance, and what you resist persists.

    In times like these there is a raging conflict between protectors of the old (e.g. our Congress in Washington) and pathfinders of the new (yet to be discovered). It is hard for many to stop doing what made them so much money for so long.

    Always ask, “Is there another way?”, “Is there a better way?”

  6. Remember, no matter how it may appear, EVENTS ARE ALWAYS NEUTRAL. What counts is not what happens but how you are prepared for and respond to what happens (or better yet how you have strategically pre-planned future alternative courses of action based upon the occurrence of specific event scenarios).

    When times are tough, keep your distance from the weak and incapable and those who just don’t get it. The powerful predators higher up the food chain will be looking for scapegoats and sacrificial lambs. It’s the law of the jungle, survival of the fittest (natural selection). In a slow or declining business climate, two favorite senior management “sports” dramatically increase in popularity . . . the “kill the messenger” game and the perennial, hands-down winner, the “blame” game.

    Be proactive as regards controlling your own destiny. Standing still or being strategically or tactically indecisive in today’s market environment of constant unpredictable change means you have fallen behind and might not catch up. As unfathomable as it may seem to those clueless souls who are among us, there may be someone in a garage or some place on the other side of the globe who is molding a silver bullet with your company’s name on it. If you don’t have a vision, a plan, or a business model and all with several backup plans . . . competitors or market forces will involuntarily impose one on you and you probably won’t like it. “The space between stimulus and response is choice.” If you don’t make a voluntary choice, someone or something else will make it for you and throw you into a totally reactive state which is not a position of strength or control.

    To many, recent occurrences are ultimately a case of “We have seen the enemy and it is us”, because they had no backup plan or even considered one. Wakeup calls are constantly going out every day but some people are too busy sleeping to pick up the phone or notice the outward signs and get the message that they need to ACT and NOW!

  7. Preventive measures:
    “Dig your well before you are thirsty.”
    Always go the extra mile, it is the road less traveled.

  8. I just found out that my contract will be terminated in 30 days. This is the first email that I’ve read since they told.

    Right on time! Thanks

  9. I love what you have to say here, Will. A couple of big questions: 1. Fear and love are incompatible, so how do we let our unique expression shine when we are afraid? 2. Despite lip service to the contrary, our culture tends to squelch love/heart/feelings at school and then at work. How might we turn that around so they we better get to know what our heart is calling for? I linked you on my blog:

  10. 1. Do you have a source for: “A study from the University of California at Berkeley estimates that as many as 14 million current U.S. jobs could be lost in the next 10 years.”

    2. There is a section on our blog devoted to “Job Shift.”
    A copy of a Fortune cover story from 1994 summarizes Bridge’s book well.

    3. Based on a major study Dr Martin EP Seligman is the Director of the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania, and the founder of the new Positive Psychology movement. His rigorously tested research has determined what it takes to be happier, regardless of personal circumstances. Re-crafting your job to deploy your signature strengths everyday makes a routine job (no matter how well paid), into one that is significantly more satisfying. His VIA Signature Strengths Questionnaire, along with other interesting, scientifically validated instruments can be found at

    4.Great Blog

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