We have spent a lot of time in the past three years keeping things together. The economy. Industries. Companies. Lives. All of this has been super important, because without our MacGyver-esque patchwork, the chances are good that everything would have come undone.
In 2010, we can honestly say that we've survived. Sure, there are still plenty of areas of concern in marketing, the economy, social media, etc. There are and always will be areas in which we can do better, in which we can shore up problems. But we've survived. We've gotten this far. We've played defense and kept the opposing team known as chaos more or less at bay.
The problem with playing only defense, no matter how superbly? No sports team has ever won a game by being solely good at defense - at best, you'll only end in a tie. That doesn't mean defense isn't important. It does mean that to win more, you have to stop playing only defense and start taking ground, start putting some of your own numbers up on the scoreboard.
As we look out at the vast expanse of history yet to be written in 2010, the 364 days ahead, I'd encourage you to change your game. I'd encourage you to play less defense and more offense.
I'd encourage you to play to your strength, which is my personal theme for this year. Prior to the Great Recession and ensuing scramble for survival, there were things that in good times you were really good at. You had these as strengths, as superhero powers. These were your star quarterbacks, your best offense. You might have been superb at search engine optimization or writing eBooks or designing new products. These are the skills that made you happy, made you productive, and made you some money. These are the skills that out of necessity you had to backburner in order to keep the lights on in your organization. When the opposing team rushed you, you had to get your offense off the field and get your defense in play as fast as possible.
Do you remember them?
It's time to reawaken those skills. It's time to reawaken your superhero, dust off the cape and powers, get your best quarterback off the bench, and play to the things that you're really good at and enjoy. True, you may have a different job or title today than you did during the last boom, but the mental skills and faculties you previously had are still there. Find ways to bring them back into the work you are doing now.
Play to your strengths. Deploy your offense. Look for opportunities to do more of what you know you're really good at. Find ways to work your powers into more of what you do every day. Give your defensive linemen a breather and score a touchdown or two this year.
See you on the field.
Photo credit: Chip Griffin
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