In today’s rapidly evolving workplace, the rules have changed. Unlike the job security our grandparents enjoyed, modern professionals need to equip themselves with ten essential survival skills. The first trio of skills involves self-management. Gone are the days when companies offered lifelong commitment; now, you must manage your morale, career, and life independently. The corporate-employee emotional contract no longer exists, and you must be self-reliant. The second set of skills revolves around proactive action. Traditional models of “Ready, aim, fire” no longer apply. Instead, it’s “Ready! Fire! Aim!” Embrace change, launch initiatives, and adapt as you go. The final skill set, inspired by the inner and outer game concept of Tim Gallwey, encourages a shift in mindset. Instead of focusing solely on external success, learn to develop and grow internally, trust, blend energies, inquire, let go, be, learn, share, be in relationships, and listen. These skills are crucial for thriving in the modern workplace, where adaptability, innovation, and a holistic approach are key to success.
These are Survival Skills for today’s workplace. This is how to thrive in turbulence. Our grandparents didn’t have to worry about the stuff that you and I have to worry about our grandchildren. Who knows what they’re going to have to face? But right now, today’s workplace is not the same as it was before. I’ve got ten survival skills that I’ve developed over the years. I’m going to break them into three chunks. So here’s the first set. Survival skills one, two, and three. The first one is that you are going to need to wake up and manage everything, manage your own morale, manage your own career, manage your own life. You’re going to have to take care of yourself because the company can’t do it anymore. It used to be in the old days, my grandparents. You went to work for one company, and if you did a fairly good job, you stayed with that company for 25 or 30 years. Then you retired. They gave you a gold watch. You and the company had a sort of a psychological, emotional, even spiritual contract. I give my life to you. You take care of me. No more, no more. Now, the company will only keep you as long as it makes good business sense to have you there. So don’t expect the company to give you something to make you feel good. Don’t expect the company to take care of your career too much. Don’t expect the company to take care of your life.
You’re going to have to be responsible for that. And the skill is, how do I take care of myself? At the same time, I commit my best effort to support the organization. The second skill is you’re going to need to learn to work proactively. You’re going to need to learn to step out and take risks before everything is perfect. Things are moving so fast today that the old companies used to go ready, ready. Aim. Aim. Ready. Aim. Ready. Aim ready, ready. Aim, aim ready, aim, and then fire. You know nowadays it’s ready. Fire! Aim! Ready! Fire! Aim! You do a little planning. You pull the trigger, and then you adjust after things get launched. You’re constantly launching new things without being sure that they’re going to succeed. This is not only true of products for your organization or programs, but it’s true for you in your own team. In your own smaller world. You’re going to have to generate ideas, create things without knowing for sure whether they’re going to succeed or not. This will be especially challenging in some cultures where you wait for authority to tell you what to do, where it’s not quite exactly okay to be the one to jump up and make something happen. Ironically, even in those cultures, the survival of the organization depends on a handful of people having the courage to do exactly that. Okay, survival skill number two. Survival skill number three. One of my favorites comes from the brilliant work of a guy named Tim Galloway, who was one of the top tennis players in America back in the 70s.
He tells a great story, which is on another video which I’ll tell you about how he came up with these, but he calls he identified what he called an inner game and an outer game in tennis, and it was a great metaphor for life itself. He said, there’s two games. One is an outer game that has certain rules and expectations, and the other is kind of an inner game. And he says, you have to learn to play both games. But I’m going to lay out now what the inner game is, which most of us don’t naturally learn. Most of us are brought up to play the outer game, which is based on achieving, having, guarding what you can, getting as much as you can and guarding it, fighting to win, defending your position, an attachment you want to attach to things. Doing action. Knowing. Never being stupid. Protecting. Being right. My gosh, who wants to be wrong? Telling what you know, persuading people and a transactional approach. I give this to you. You give this to me. Most of the world is based on that. But paradoxically, if you’re going to survive in today’s workplace, you have to add a new game to this game, which Tim called the inner game. Instead of achieving, you need to learn to develop and grow.
You need to attend and trust what you have instead of guarding, you need to. Instead of fighting, you need to win. You need to blend until the energy shifts. It’s an aikido principle. You need to inquire into the larger truth instead of defending your position. Instead of being attached, you need to let go so that more can come to you. Instead of doing, you need to learn to be instead of knowing you. Need to learn how to learn and not just protecting. You need to learn to share. It’s like kids in a sandbox. How can I share credit? You know, in a big organization, we want to fight for to be the hero. Sometimes it’s long term more effective if you can share credit with people who deserve it. Protecting being in a relationship instead of being right. Instead of telling people, learn how to find out. The successful businesses and organizations now are not the ones that know everything, but the ones that can find out faster what needs to be found out. Instead of persuading, you need to learn to learn how to listen. And then finally, instead of just being transactional, you need to learn to have a relation-based orientation. Customers don’t want to just they want the transaction to be solid, but they also want to know that you care. That’s becoming more and more important. First three survival skills in becoming more effective in today’s workplace.
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