The Drift

The Drift

How We Show Up.

We tentatively emerge from two years of inconsistent isolation only to feel the gravitational pull of the economy. Ironically, even as much of the world was down and out, our sales numbers and performance were up and to the right. Now with the sun out, many of us are watching the last days of a rough second quarter tick away. Is that a recession ahead? Are we truly back? And what does that look like anyway? Anxiety is both by-product and fuel source for uncertainty, and right now uncertainty abounds.

Fortunately, there’s one set of decisions that we absolutely control. Leaning into these decisions won’t necessarily change the numbers or the circumstances, but they will change the narrative from one of anxiety and randomness to a story of perseverance, growth and personal victory. They may not change your Q3 number, but they will change you.

We all get to decide how we show up. Every call, every interaction, every day. I’ve chosen to start out this week, this day, by showing up and trying to say and do something useful and productive for the readers of The Drift (who, by the way, I haven’t done enough for this year).  How will you show up tomorrow?

Show Up Curious. Don’t settle for good questions. We all control how much we really want to know about how our customers’ businesses work, the nuances of their competition and more. Genuinely curious people are magnetic. We can all decide right now to commit to real learning and understanding.

Show Up Prepared. Not just for customer meetings, and not just with your story laid out. Real preparation is about critical thinking, about anticipation. Preparation in business is like defense in basketball: it’s really all about desire and dedication – no exceptional talent required.

Show Up in Service to Others. Diagnose and think things through. Why does this customer truly need our help?  What gap genuinely needs to be filled? What can we really do to help complete this customer’s plan, to genuinely make it better? And don’t stop with your customers. Show up in service to the people around you: pick up the slack for a coworker, spend a little extra time and patience in explanation and mentoring. It’s what you give away that makes you richer.

Show Up with Empathy. Behind every pair of eyes is a unique story, a different struggle. Take a beat. Consider that something may be weighing on the other person, even if you’ll never know what it is. You’ll create the space of humanity for real collaboration and sharing.

Show Up with Joy. Don’t buy the excuse that Zoom is a flawed experience. That’s a decision. We choose to make – or not make – every interaction more human and joyful, whether it’s on a screen, on a walk or over a desktop. Have some fun. Be a good host. Make it special for the other person.

You may righteously ask, what does all this have to do with business over the next few weeks? Isn’t it all advice about how to live your life?

My point exactly.


More Posts

The January Conversation.

Without a disruptive strategy to get the January conversation, you’re just another player hanging around the rim waiting for a rebound. You deserve better. So grab the ball and take your shots.


Solstice.

A little more light, more vaccine being delivered, people sharing news of their vaccinations on social media. And even as the amount of light and hope spirals upward, we will simultaneously suffer through cold and storms and sadness. These things live together in winter, but in spring the light wins out. And Spring will come. Just stay focused on the light.


What It Will Take.

Now here we are, with vaccines rolling out and a sense that things are going to get better… but only in the spring. Here we are, facing winter. And we’re asking ourselves, what will it take? What will it take to keep spirits strong, to stay hopeful and resilient under the weight of COVID fatigue and Zoom burnout? It will take choices... good ones.


What I Heard in Class.

In today’s post, I’d like to invite you inside one of our Upstream Sales Workshops on Zoom and let you overhear some of what’s being taken away.


Window of Opportunity.

Nobody ever says I just wish I’d waited longer to change. I’m glad we didn’t.


You Already Know.

It’s been said that learning is finding out what you already know. So what is it that you already know that I’m likely to remind you of?


Evidence.

Evidence is everywhere. But we only get what we look for. And when we examine it – thoughtfully, critically, unsentimentally – it tells us where we really stand… what needs to be done… how to move forward intentionally. We become better forecasters, better time managers, better teammates, better stewards of company resources – better sellers.


Ecosystem Leadership.

Empathy is the oxygen of your ecosystem. It sustains people and relationships and also acts as fuel for the fires of creativity, production and perseverance. You are A leader in this ecosystem, not THE leader. You'll lead by constantly referencing a very short list of recurring questions.


Stay In.

Right now, there’s an awful lot of showing up. There have been some immediate moves on diversity hiring, and a whole lot of public statements being made — including my own. But showing up is one thing: staying in is entirely another.


Everybody Knows.

The now-famous New Yorker cartoon told us “On the internet, no one knows you’re a dog.” On Zoom, everybody knows.


The New Story.

I do not know what it’s like to navigate life and business as a woman or an African American or an immigrant. I never will. I probably can’t ever really understand the micro-aggressions – the small acts of humiliation – that people who don’t look like me suffer every week. But I can and must take account of the micro-opportunities that have been there for me all along.


If I Only Had the Time.

Not obsessing about time is one thing: re-imagining how we use it is entirely another. What can I say yes to, today? Non-traditional scheduling options. Re-imagining your relationship with the calendar and the clock won't just happen. It all starts with you choosing your own narrative about possibility.