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The Great Resignation, or Great Reshuffling, or whatever you call it. I’m talking to a whole bunch of people who are re-prioritizing, re-examining, and re-thinking what their work is about.

It’s a major factor in how employees are making decisions right now.

Part of the problem is that everyone has their own priorities and sense of balance. More than ever, it really matters if you have small kids, elderly parents, or are thinking of buying a house when prices are going through the roof.

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This is the time of year when all your business newsletters are telling you to create a plan for the coming year. Which is perfect if you have a baseline to build from.

But what do you do when all your assumptions have been blown to shreds in the last two years? Regulations are constantly changing. Supply chains are massively broken. Employees are unreliable. Whole industries are restructuring.

Your foundation, my friends, is much deeper than that.

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As you call people back to the office, you may have a hard time figuring out how strongly to demand that everyone follows the same rules.

There are so many variables! Nature of job tasks, desire for people to connect face-to-face, costs, sanitizing requirements, and so on.

What it comes down to is this: You want to have enough flexibility so that everyone feels reasonably productive, comfortable and supported.

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You might think that today’s message is about reflecting on the year’s goals, and progress made. With what this year has thrown at us, I doubt that ANY of us are on progress with what we were thinking at the beginning of the year.

Either way ahead or way behind, perhaps out of business entirely.

In my case, I experienced a massive “pivot” this year, delivering a lot of services producing amazing Zoom events for clients. It’s been fun, but certainly not my business plan.

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We all want the turmoil to end. Unfortunately, there’s a whole lot which we don’t control right now.

A whole lot that NOBODY controls.

We’re searching for the “return to normal,” or perhaps the “new normal.” Which is fine, but it can be a bit of an illusion.

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As I mentioned last week David Peterson is the Director of Executive Coaching & Leadership at Google.

He mentioned a phrase which stuck with me: “There’s no learning in the comfort zone, and there’s no comfort in the learning zone.” Last week I talked about the first part, today I’d like to focus on the second.

Why does learning push you out of your comfort zone?

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I had a chance to see a presentation by David Peterson recently; he’s the Director of Executive Coaching & Leadership at Google. And a brilliant coach!

He mentioned a phrase which stuck with me: “There’s no learning in the comfort zone.” There’s actually a second part of the statement, but I’m going to talk about that next week.

So why would the comfort zone be a place of no learning?

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Many of my readers are really struggling right now. Loss of work, lack of direction, confusion.

I had a chance to coach someone recently who was sensing this quite profoundly. Confined to his house, without work prospects, he’s finding it hard to move forward in any useful direction.

But here’s the thing: he’s actually been given a gift.

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I’ve noticed there are industries with “innovation fatigue.” Social media has been this way, with the rate of change going faster than people can absorb. 

It wears people out.

The interesting part is that this rate of fatigue is different for each person and situation. I’ve been a tech geek for over five decades, so I tend to enjoy these innovations more than most people do.

But even I stopped looking for the ultimate word processor 25 years ago. I stopped investing in the latest and greatest laptops a bit later.

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I was recently asked about what to do when it feels like you need to change the core purpose of your business. Another person answered that “your core purpose is always to return money to your shareholders, that never changes.”

I believe that attitude is fifty years out of date.

Sure, if you choose to create a company which is merely about extracting money from your customers and giving it to your investors, fine. But that’s not the people I’m working with.

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