If the world economic crisis is negatively affecting you and/or your business, I have some advice for you…stop worrying about it. There’s next to nothing you can do to fix it, and worrying about it certainly isn’t going to help anything. If you really want to help yourself and your business, there’s another crisis you should be focusing on. It’s one that nobody is talking about and yet nearly everyone is suffering from. It’s also a crisis that you can actually do something about–and by doing so–you can help yourself fare better in these challenging economic times. Believe it or not, it’s called an Identity Crisis.
ECONOMIC CRISIS, OR IDENTITY CRISIS, IN BUSINESSES?
What does an identity crisis have to do with you, especially during these turbulent economic times? Let’s start by shedding some light on what an identity crisis actually is. Erik Erikson, the ground-breaking developmental psychologist and psychoanalyst, said that people experience an identity crisis when they lose “a sense of personal sameness and historical continuity”. Further, only those who fully address this crisis and find a way to see themselves differently and in a way that is more congruent with the new and different world they find themselves in will survive and thrive.
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Recent columns on transformational thinking and congruency training have generated email from around the country. Thank you for your correspondence – I appreciate the opportunity to discuss this topic. I wrote this week’s blog to answer some common questions on this often misunderstood topic.
What distinguishes transformational thinking? Transformational thinking is different from the way an individual or organization normally thinks in that it doesn’t use past myths, old driving-truths and past self-definitions. As our thoughts are driven by these three things, we are not likely to think differently enough or change our approach enough to create a vastly different outcome until we’re able to change the very templates on which our thoughts are formed.
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In an interview with Newsweek Magazine, Jack Welch, the iconic CEO of General Electric said, “The old days of asking managers for 3 percent productivity gains–you can’t settle for that. You can’t think incrementally–you have to think transformationally.”
While he’s right, this is much easier to say than to do. The challenge is that few people, let alone organizations, understand the mechanics of transformation. Most people have never had a transformation, and surely even less actually know the mechanics of how to “create” one. One of my pet peeves is when I hear someone say they’re going to attend a full day or multi-day seminar on “change” with the goal of “getting one good thing out of it.” Have we become so jaded about our ability to truly transition that we’ll settle for merely learning “one” new concept as significant movement in our quest? This is hardly the stuff of transformation.
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