Wednesday 25 February 2015

Seeing in the dark: a key to growing your business

As a boy I became afraid of the dark. My fear arose because our toilet was a few steps from the main house and a few times while in there the lights went out leaving me in the dark and literally unable to find my way back home. My Grandfather on learning of my plight gave me this advice, “Just stay still, wait awhile, and you’ll soon be able to see in the dark. I trusted him, did what he said, and overcame my fear.

In business there's often ‘dark’. We can get surrounded by it.

Think of things like that as negative momentum — the darkside. The negative momentum had such power it almost resulted in the total collapse of the world's financial system.

And focus on that word ‘momentum’ for a moment — you see it’s a safe bet that most of us think about it as a positive thing — moving forward, forward momentum.

Yet every week I observe the darkside. A client is experiencing a run of people leaving, another is trying to overcome what seems to be a sudden downturn in sales, another is faced with having to change their business model before a competitor takes away their key customers.

Negative momentum has a million faces and often therefore we don't recognise it until it's too late.

I work with my clients to help them to see in the dark, to halt negative momentum, and to shift to the awesome power of positive momentum. My main work is to help my clients to gain or regain positive momentum when for no apparent reason the flow of success stops or is halted.

To do it I developed a process for both seeing in the dark and also to better appreciate the light. My process has roots in Appreciative Inquiry which I believe to be a wonderful way of seeing the world authentically and transparently and for moving from what is to what can be.

It’s the same process that saved my life. My doctor gave me this edict several years ago: ‘have an attitude of gratitude’. I am grateful too for a chance encounter and a book called Owning Your Own Shadow (more about that in just a moment).

The Momentum process is about appreciating and being grateful every single day for what is (the remarkable, the great, the good, and also the bad and the ugly). With this as a foundation we can then truly Imagine what can be and Create a plan to turn imagination into reality. I have found no better way to create such plans than by mirroring the science of quantum leaps

One quantum leap at a time enables personal and business growth by transition. We therefore can avoid negative momentum and instead embrace positive momentum and achieve what we want.

The Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung referred to the darker side of our nature as our shadow. His protégé Robert Johnson wrote the book Owning Your Own Shadow.

Johnson referred to what he called "gold in the shadow". In other words, our best is often hidden in our worst.

To see ourselves as who we are, the remarkable, the great, the good, and the bad and the ugly, takes a high degree of self-awareness.

We live in a complex world that is open for business 24/7. It's simple to succumb to negative momentum without even realising it. It's also simple to embrace positive momentum. This is all about our purpose or reason, our why for being in the world.

To keep us focused on the positive and also to embrace our darkside we need people in our lives to keep us honest with ourselves, to help us with perspective, and to have candid conversations with us that count. Maybe I can be such a person for you, in a small yet significant way like my Grandfather was for me, or through a tailored leadership mastery program.

My clients tell me that I see what most people don't and say what most people won't, even when it's dark.

Be remarkable.

No comments: