Yesterday I was in Fargo, North Dakota (my first trip to the great state of North Dakota) working with the NDTA (North Dakota Telecommunications Association) as the opening keynote speaker for their 52nd Annual TOC Conference. Just before I was scheduled to open the event, I was asked to do a quick radio interview with Randy Sutton on his radio program, Power of Legacy Radio.

The program highlights the importance of living with purpose and leaving a legacy, and Randy wanted to talk with me about the role of business and corporate America. We were having a great discussion, when Randy asked one of the best questions I have ever been asked during an interview. He asked me why I get hired to give a keynote and as a consultant, why businesses bring me in to speak and work with their groups.

Now, I know, there is nothing remarkable about that question right? However, it was a great question, because no one has ever asked me that before. Oh, of course they have asked what my expertise is and what I speak about, but never why businesses and organizations seek me out. In others words, what problem or challenge do they have, and what are they looking for me to help them with or solve.

For me, the answer was easy, and simple really. Organizations and businesses bring me in to help them solve the puzzle of how to start making this economy work for them. Whether I am speaking with corporate leaders or front line personnel, their challenge, their need is the same; with stress at an all-time high, and the pressure to produce increasing at rapid speed, they need to understand the strategies that will set them up to win in this trust and value economy.

At this particular conference, the 52nd Annual TOC, I was there to speak with the front line personnel, those individuals dealing directly with the challenges each and every day; the challenges of trying to grow revenues, increase efficiencies and produce results despite heavy regulation, competition, and demanding customers.

So how do you navigate these waters and how do you make this economy work for you?

First understand, professionally and personally, life is moving at rapid pace, change is constant, competition is increasing, and technological advancements put pressure on both productivity and controlling costs. So with those odds stacked against you, how do you succeed in this economy?

  1. Embrace Reality – in other words, forget about what you can’t control and start focusing on what you can control. Fighting your reality – whining, complaining, wishing that things would slow down, that life would stop changing, or that competition would just go away and wishing it was different is a waste of precious time and energy – and worse than that, it accomplishes nothing. However, if you embrace your reality – in other words shift your focus to what you can control, you’ll start to uncover ideas, strategies and solutions on how to make this economy work for you. Those challenges that seemed like obstacles will become opportunities.
  2. Plug Into The Power of Connection – when times get tough, the tough band together, and you only have to look to people who are succeeding in this economy to realize that those people are well connected. The problem most people make with connection is that they wait until they need something to connect which is the worst time to try to make a connection. If you want to make this economy work for you, you need to plug in to the power of connection – you need to build those valuable relationships long before you are going to need them. The more quality your network, the more this economy will start working for you.
  3. Own It – when you have embraced your reality and built a powerful network, you have all the information and knowledge you need to step up to the plate, take charge and drive results. In other words you do not need to wait for your leaders, your organization or your clients to tell you what to do or how to do it, because you own it. You realize that the buck stops with you, and to make this economy work for you know you need to be as vested in the success of your organization as your team members and your leaders. You take personal responsibility to lead the grass roots effort for creative strategies, innovative ideas, and you make it happen.

So yes this economy is different, and it has changed, but when you understand the shift, when you know the secrets, you will have everything you need to make this economy work for you!