Today is the Spring Equinox.
Around the world the hours of daylight and night are equal. It is a clear indication that the sun is moving south and summer with it. It is a time of change, optimism, growth and renewal. It is also time to move to Level One.
The Corona virus, whilst not yet over, is not the first nor is it the most devastating virus in history. On the 13thSeptember 2020 the World Health Organisation recorded 917 417 deaths caused by the Corona virus. The Black Death raged over four years from 1347-1350. It killed an estimated 200 million people.
The plague destroyed Italian society and then transformed it. For the better. Florence’s recovery led to fundamental social, economic, cultural, political and religious transformation heralding the emergence of the Renaissance.
Is it possible that in the aftermath of such destruction we may be on the cusp of a renaissance?
Yes. If we are awake and receptive to it.
I consult to a number of companies who are essential services. When Level 5 was announced, these companies had an option. Shut down or crack on. They chose, amidst the anxiety of the unknown, to crack on.
On day one they implemented Covid-19 regulations. They found themselves dealing in ambiguity, uncertainty and with high levels of staff anxiety.
They are pioneers and did what was needed to keep fragile wheels of what was left of the economy turning.
Two of them are in agriculture and logistics. They needed to function and function efficiently keeping supply chains running. It is not overtly dramatic to say they fed us and kept us alive. Imagine if they were dysfunctional and failed us? Day after day they got up, dressed up, and showed up – yup in the very eye of a global pandemic.
What interests me was what makes these companies different? What makes them resilient? What makes them Succesful? What makes them sustainable. And what is the nature of culture that drives them?
Firstly, they are owned and run by optimists. Leaders who trade in hope on a daily basis. They see every challenge as a blessing, as an opportunity they revel in solving, and in solving improving themselves and their business.
They have what I call the mindset of Abundant Possibility.
They share the following traits. They believe in the abundance of opportunity. They believe opportunities are everywhere. They are attuned to and awake to these possibilities. They are appreciative of who they are and what they have. They appreciate the value of themselves, others and their business. This appreciation leads to creativity in the broadest sense. A creativity that looks at the possibilities in the universe and how they can benefit from them. Their businesses constantly look to solve a problem for others by providing a product or service that is of use. This is how they make and create more – a cycle of abundance that is infinite. And they deliver. They deliver to themselves, their staff, their clients and their communities. They are a source of abundance.
It’s the difference between saying, “what can I do for myself?” or “what can the government, my company, my family, my spouse, or anybody else do for me?”
They are continually in a growth mindset using their strengths not only to perform but to transform. They are not victims, they are victors. They see themselves as succeeding, even against the odds. They do not blame others; not the competition, not the state, not the government – even when it is attractive to do so. They take full responsibility for their actions saying, “if you remove all the excuses in your life, you can achieve your full potential”. And they do.
Finally, they constantly scan the horizon looking forward and upward. They live now not in the past. As a wise woman once said, “you must give up all hope of a better past”. Serial entrepreneur Vusi Thembekwayo put it just as eloquently when he urged us that, “whilst the past may not be our fault, the future is our responsibility”. It is, we cannot abdicate it to anyone else.
After the devastation the lockdown wreaked on our personal state of mind, the nations psyche – and the economy what happens if we don’t have a mindset of abundant possibilities?
We become victims.
Our lives are dependent on the mercy of others.
We believe life to be a constant battle over scarce and limited resources. If you have something I want, it means I can’t have it because resources are finite. I become a helpless. I become envious. Envy leads to jealousy – Shakespeare’s all-consuming green-eyed monster that gnaws away at our insides. Jealousy leads to a downward spiral of anger, resentment, despair, and depression. I am no longer a victor in control of my life. I am a victim living at the mercy of those I envy.
A North Indian grandfather told his grandson that, “there are two wolves, good and evil, at war within us”.
The boy enquires, “which one wins grandfather?” “the one you feed came the reply”
Which one are you feeding?
If you want to control your future, you must invent it. You must create it. You must choose abundance over scarcity. You must deal in hope.
LaunchLab in Stellenbosch is an example of how we can be catalysts of hope, creators of abundance. If you had any doubt that the renaissance is starting under our noses, go to their website and listen to an interview with CEO Josh Romisher and one of the world’s great entrepreneurs Steve Blank. The next renaissance is right HERE, NOW.
So, scan the horizons and be awake to the endless abundance and opportunities that exist. They are literally all around. If it is to be, its up to me – cumaan Mzanzi lets roll up those sleeves and build a better future for us all.
If Florence was the tide that floated Italy and the rest of the world, then what’s to stop us starting right here inside within ourselves. Think abundantly, make that call, get that meeting in the diary, hustle and make it happen. And smile. Find your strengths, your values, your passion, your purpose, dream, designing the future and create your destiny.
The Saige Business Consulting executive and leadership development program offers personalised mentoring to help you become the best possible version of yourself.