Business consultant & author Tom Peters recently professed to a leadership conference audience that “all significant innovation comes during tough times.” He further explained that during this current housing downturn, a home building company would write the history of their next 25 years.
I know there are many builders out there that pray that the next 25 years resemble very little of what they’re experiencing at this current juncture! Nevertheless, I am reminded that regardless of the details of our current situation, we are pressed to innovate and push for something better. Not just to pull us through today, but also to lay a foundation for the coming years.
In my search for sources of encouraging optimism, I was reminded of leadership guru Brian Tracy’s comments on optimism: “Optimists have an unrealistic expectation of success. As a result, they are willing to try far more things without becoming discouraged. In addition, because of their unrealistically positive attitude, they are willing to persist much longer than the average person.” Tracy goes on to say that optimism is in fact a powerful tool, as long as it is tempered with negativism (i.e. being skeptical, critical & suspicious when needed), which he considers a “negative optimist”.
So I suppose the challenge that therein lies is that we must maintain our optimism about housing’s future & all the powerful, dynamic changes that are in culmination, most notably green building. Although it may not be an automatic response to innovate, create & follow inspiration when you’re being swept away amidst such a powerful downturn, it may be the only real thing that pulls us through this.
I was recently honored to participate on an NAHB discussion panel among 4 other builders from across the nation on what survival strategies we are employing in order to ride the waves of these times. Together we described how we have succeeded against difficult odds in keeping our businesses going & positioning ourselves for the new markets that are slowly emerging from the rubble. Upon reflection through the lens of innovation & optimism, I can see that although we may not have used these exact terms, it is what we’ve been doing out of sheer necessity.
Considering all this, my question to you is this- will you choose to be optimistic or pessimistic? Innovative or withdrawn? We may not have control over all the factors in our current environment, but we, and we alone, have the power to make these choices. We are, after all, writing our history with every step, with every choice.
Posted: 6/14/2011 6:40:18 PM by
Mary Kestner | with 0 comments