The biggest challenge we face when trying to discern a way forward is to distinguish between signal and noise: what is true and what is distraction. Simply scroll through your newsfeed on any social media and even through the list of articles posted on your favourite news site.
- Retail is doomed.
- Why retail will survive.
- Malls are dead.
- Long live the Mall.
- Amazon will kill your business.
- How to survive the coming of Amazon.
- The economy will tank.
- Prepare for the coming boom.
If that tells us nothing else, it should tell us this:
Things are not true because many people believe it.
It is not true because you agree with it.
Things are not true because they are written down or ‘researched’.
They are not true because we want it, because it is on the news or because a smart person says so.
Things are not true because they are complicated, nor because they are simple.
Your truth is not true because it is your truth.
Things are true because they are true.
You may think that makes truth impossible to know, but on the contrary, it is easy to know.
Truth is done, not said.
We act according to that we believe to be true. Forget what people say, write, ‘like or ‘share’.
If we want to know what true is for you (i.e. what you believe) - just look at how you act.
If we act like Amazon is going to kill our business, then that is what we believe to be true.
If we actively seek an opportunity in every diversity, then we believe the future is bright.
If we pay our staff well, we believe in the importance of people.
If we greet our customers with a smile, we believe customer service is important.
If we complain to the landlord, we believe our problem is someone else’s fault.
If we watch our staff like hawks, we believe it is true that they are nothing but human resources.
If we open the store late, we don’t believe in discipline and consistency.
If we discount our offer as a default first step in a sale, we don’t believe your product has value.
If we say we value inclusiveness, but…
If we say we are not racist, but…
If we say we are compassionate, but…
It really doesn’t matter what we say, only what we do.
Psychologists suggest that 70% to 80% of what we do every day is habitual. Check your habits if you want to find the beliefs that are so ingrained you don’t even notice. That way lies an understanding of the truth. And once you know what you really believe to be true (and not what you have been telling yourself) then you are able to reset yourself and your business on the path that will lead to success.
The fact is, strategies and solutions (for the most part) are pretty self-evident. And if not, one can buy the expertise to solve it. The challenge we face is that we actually believe is incongruent with what we say – that is why we fail in the ‘execution’.
You can call yourself a Hawks fan, but unless you are prepared to sit and watch in the rain, you are a mere spectator.