All periods of great economic and social uncertainty are invitations to see only the dark side of threats coming. But the same periods offer strong entrepreneurs and leaders at all levels of organizations new opportunities. But none of us will grow and capitalize on any opportunities from a position of spiritual, emotional, physical or fiscal weakness. What is your position of strength? How will you develop it?
The province I live in is a notoiously boom and bust oil and gas economy. Despite producing the cleanest and most ethical hydrocarbons probably in the world, our primary industry has seen attacks from all sides. Cashflow available to pay salaries and taxes at all levels is in decline and capital is fleeing the industry, the province and the country as we figure out how to align the quadruple imperatives of social justice, environmental sustainability, personal quality of life AND economic prosperity. And like a great many people, I see dark clouds on the horizon and a storm coming.
Or is it really? There is no question in my mind that we are dealing with massive structural challenges in the political economy of Canada and I see these challenges rising sharply in the coming years. But–and it's a big but–that does not mean we need to succumb to the normal fear-based, every-man-for-himself survival tactics. Change creates threats to our livelihoods for sure, but change also creates opportunities.
The quality of each of our lives is a product of how much time we spend winning and struggling. Tough times naturally tilt the balance towards struggle and stress, and this is a great time to make needed changes. If I'm going to suffer anyway, I might as well suffer doing something more worthwhile.
Whether a challenge is a threat or opportunity
is a matter of perspective.
I'm not saying it's easy but that's the personal work all leaders must do if they are going to take their people from threat to opportunity and weakness to strength. The purpose of any SWOT analysis it to take a sober look at the business environment and the capabilities of a team and develop winning strategies to deal effectively with changes in both. It's easy right now to put on our "fear glasses" and see only threats and maybe harder to see opportunities. We need a different set of lenses to see those.
The choice in every moment is to come from fear or faith.
Hope is never a strategy but faith is. One belief that is core to every entrepreneur and venture is the simple idea that in every problem there is an opportunity. The bigger the problem, the bigger the opportunity to create some new needed value. Another is the belief that we can rise to any challenge. If ever there was a time for the great pioneering spirit of Alberta entrepreneurs to rise up, surely it is now.
A position of strength makes opportunities more visible.
My latest book is about facing reality and the inspiration that flows from facing our fears. I put my soul's energy into it. Order yours here. My team and I can help you and your team sort out your SWOT. Call us and we can help.