Hello Leader,

This KEY will help you thrive in the New Normal. To make the most out of your challenges and opportunities you need to engage 10 thriving practices. In our recent teleconference we focused on the Three Buckets Strategy to help you gain one month a year. The Ten Commandments for Thriving will help you build this purposeful momentum. In this Key we bring you the first five. You can join our teleconference series here.

As always, you are welcome to forward this KEY to friends, family and associates.


Aviv Shahar

Thrive in the New Normal – The Ten Commandments

Struggle is the tension between where you are now and where you desire to be. If you experience this tension, it means you are alive. Life brings many struggles-health and relational, career and financial, emotional and spiritual, and more. Many of the managers I coach and interact with are experiencing struggle at this time. In part, it is the struggle of adapting to the New Normal.

What’s the New Normal?
The term New Normal was coined some time ago then popularized by the management of PIMCO to describe the economic reset. They sought to inform and educate their investors about their expectations for the foreseeable future. The message was that the downturn is not another business cycle, but a global restructuring and re-architecting of the economic order, in which recovery will be slow, uneven, and full of setbacks. In short, the market is not coming back to the robust growth experienced in recent decades. The New Normal has since been taken as a code name to describe this market and workplace environment. Four key characteristics of the New Normal are:

  • Uncertainty – Crosscurrents, rapid change and volatility are everywhere you look. There are bullish and bearish indicators in the market, in the economy, in your field and perhaps in your own career.
  • Complexity – Problems are not resolved, they multiply and morph into greater complexity and seem to be intractable. Solutions and strategies that worked in the past no longer create the same results.
  • The income imperative – Income is king. Staying liquid is the imperative. First, you must generate income. Second, you’ve got to think of your investment not in terms of making money but in terms of protecting your purchasing power.
  • Parallel Universes – The New Normal creates the paradox of parallel universes. Increasingly, you find people who are thriving and doing fantastically well and others in the same zip code and often in the same block that are suffering and struggling immensely. For some the world has come to an end with a worst case scenario. For others a new dawn is here, full of hope and possibility.

How do you thrive in this surprising and tumultuous time? What are the key practices to lead change, to differentiate and to be an agent of renewal and possibility?

Thriving in the New Normal – The 10 Commandments
Here are the first five commandments. In our next letter we will share with you the second five commandments for Thriving in the New Normal.

1. Take care of # 1
To thrive you must first take care of you. Every time you get on a plane, you are instructed to put on your own oxygen mask first. That’s a good metaphor for taking care of number one. If you do not take care of you and your essential needs, you are not going to be able to help anyone else. Get centered. Take a deep breath. Focus. Do the simple things you must do to stay well. Exercise. Rest. Make healthy dietary choices. Go outdoors. Take in fresh air. These are simple but vital things. Learn to work with your energy cycles, not against them. Keep yourself energized. You are your first project. Getting into your peak productivity zone and maintaining high impact is the first task.

We are spending four months of the winter away from Seattle in southern Florida. I’ve already had my run this morning and will be heading for a swim after I complete this writing. I am married to the best health-food chef in the world. Nothing can top this.

2. Focus on your C-Field
To thrive you must focus on what you can control first. This is where you have the greatest impact. Your C-Field (Field of Control) includes those things you can control. Focusing and acting first in your C-Field is the “vitamin C” insight. It keeps your energy and immune system robust. Identify the things you can control. Prioritize them for action. Your leverage is in allocating your precious resources, your time and energy to what is most essential in your Field of Control.

What’s the first thing in my C-Field? Me. This includes my mental clarity and creative capabilities. Every morning this is my first order of business. The first hour is dedicated to creative work. The energy and well being I get through writing and creating nourishes everything else I do and makes me highly impactful in my C-Field.

3. Lead in your I-Field
To thrive you must engage in and lead in your Field of Influence. Once you have optimized your work in your “C-Field”, your next frontier of expansion is the “I-Field”, your Field of Influence. Identify who and what you influence. Prioritize where you want to have impact and discover how to best influence and create those results. Be clear about the difference between intent and impact. Most importantly, understand what is outside both your C-Field and I-Field – do not spend resources there. You lead in your I-Field by relationship building, clarity of purpose and by creating value.

My family and my network are in my I-Field. I consider my I-Field to be a magic garden. I “walk my garden” daily. I scan the needs; look to see what has changed and what is new in the garden. The I-Field is full of opportunities. I let my field of influence reveal to me and guide me as to where my investment will have the greatest impact. Accordingly, I prioritize my actions. Often serendipity abounds.

4. Work on the main thing
To thrive you must be clear about the main thing you are working on. Let the main thing guide your priorities, tasks and activities. What are the two or three important results you are working to create this week? How will these results progress the main thing you are working on? Organize your time around these objectives. If everything is a priority, nothing is a priority.

The main thing I work on is creating value and growing in all aspects of my work. I grow by helping my clients grow and produce remarkable breakthroughs. Money follows value-creation and results. As I write this I am also creating exhilarating material for our teleconference series. We grow through helping our clients grow.

5. Create overwhelming value
You thrive in the New Normal in two ways: you are “mission critical” or you create overwhelming value. Ideally you do both. Identify the key stakeholders you serve. Learn their concerns, needs and objectives. You are mission critical when they cannot answer their needs or achieve their objectives without the contributions you make. You create overwhelming value when they see that with your contribution they are many times better off: they get where they want to be faster, safer, more efficiently, healthier, happier and more gracefully.

A senior executive recently said to me: “You’ve done a great thing for us. We would not have achieved these results without you. In three days we produced a clarity that would have taken three months. But even more importantly, we developed a series of game-changing ideas and aligned our next steps.” That’s overwhelming value becoming mission critical.

Call or write us today to find out about helping your teams develop strategies to Thrive in the New Normal. Now it’s your turn. Turn the Key. Take care of # 1. Focus on your C-Field. Lead in your I-Field. Work on the main thing. Create overwhelming value.

© Aviv Shahar