Last night we had a surprise winner in the form of a shiny new US President-Elect. Today emotions run high across the country, and they run the full spectrum available to us as human beings. Love him or hate him, Mr. Trump is part of our new reality for the next four years.
The media and populace have rapidly moved on from the ugly election campaigns to full-blown speculation about with the future holds. Predictions about what his election will cause run from a new world order and nirvana in the US to global thermonuclear war. But here’s the big untold secret: nobody really knows what is going to happen!
While the media and social media circus continues, we have businesses to run and families and other loved ones to support. Normal life has not stopped, nor will it pause as we either gratify or terrify ourselves about what “might” happen. The only thing that is clear is: we do not appear to be in for four more years of the same-old-same-old, some things are likely to change and some of those changes could be big.
So what’s a person to do? Here is a simple six-step plan for your family and your business:
1) SIT TIGHT! Don’t panic and don’t do anything rash. Keep moving forward. Possibly use all of this as a teaching moment for yourself or for some of the younger generation who might be having a hard time understanding the dynamics of what just happened and why people are so charged up about it. Possibly even use this new understanding to help propel your business forward in ways you had not previously considered.
2) WATCH! While you are keeping your day-to-day moving forward, be vigilant and be objectively informed about what actually IS happening around you as a result of the election. Your personal situation may be affected, and your business may also be affected. Take the time to be a truly informed person, not simply a purveyor of the hype that is so readily fed to us by the media and partially-informed individuals pushing personal agendas for ratings or other purposes. There are objective sources of information out there. Search them out.
3) LEARN! The implications of a Trump presidency are likely to be wider-ranging than if a career politician was elected. The ripples of change are likely to resonate far wider in the next four years than they have in a normal election years. In order to navigate your personal and professional life and make decisions that are in your family’s and your business’ best interests you will not only need to know what is happening but also what it means to you and yours. You will likely need to add a few new skill sets or areas of knowledge to your arsenal of decision-making skills in order to have the best outcomes. Take the time to be that more informed, smarter person.
4) ANTICIPATE! This may be the hardest one, but it is also the most important. Being able to correctly anticipate future events is fully predicated on your doing a great job with items 2 and 3. Not only do you need to understand what DID happen or IS happening, you will need to predict what WILL happen as a result of it all. This moves you, and your business and family, into a proactive position instead of a reactive position. As a leader in your company, community, or family, your ability to maintain a proactive stance by correctly anticipating future outcomes is paramount to your personal and professional success.
5) CHANGE/ACT! When it gets cold we put on coats, and when it gets hot we put on swimsuits. And when it’s going to get cold or hot we pack our coats or shorts in our bags so that we’re prepared for the upcoming weather even before it’s here. So too will we need to change due to the social, regulatory and legal realities around us that are also likely to change. Let’s not be afraid and let’s not let it catch us off guard. Let’s be prepared and making decisions so that we’re ready for whatever comes before it occurs.
6) REPEAT! Well, not actually repeat, but lets keep doing all of this all the time. Keep watching, learning, anticipating and changing all the time. We can call it evolving or growing. And yes, some growing pains are real!
Now, the 6-steps proposed above are no different today than they were before the election, but given that our future Commander-In-Chief is not your run-of-the-mill President-Elect, it is more important now than ever to be vigilant and intentional about our actions as leaders. We should not panic. Instead, we should be ever more vigilant, fully informed individuals so that we can manage through the changes, whatever they are, that are sure to come in the next four years.
And for a little self-gratification along the way, we can certainly allow ourselves to have personal opinions on whether the change is good or bad and possibly passionately discuss it over an adult beverage or two. Maybe you will even get involved in advocating for shaping some of the IS into our personal vision of SHOULD BE. However, as leaders, we cannot allow our SHOULD BE thoughts to interfere with our objective reality through which we must navigate.
God bless, and good luck to all of us from all backgrounds, economic classes, and business segments as we look to what appears to be a very different kind of leadership in the Oval Office than we’ve seen in many, many years.
- Scot Berkey, Managing Director