The Monster is always coming.


“Daddy! Over here quick!”

My daughter screams from her tent in the yard and I run over to see what she is doing. In her Minnie Mouse tent she stands in the corner in her “fighting stance” with a huge grin on her face.

“What’s up honey?” I asked

“The monster is coming” she said.

“He is?” I feigned surprise as best a father can.

“The monster is always coming dad” and then she smiled in a way that I knew she really enjoyed the fear and was ready for the fight. She was embracing the fear that comes with an unknown monster hunting her in her own yard — she was waiting for him.

The monster is always coming.

Isn’t that the truth, you see the thing about fear is that it can help you if you can learn to control it. The lack of fear keeps you from making rational decisions because you fail to recognize it; the appearance of fear allows you to react when danger reveals itself.

The human brain is divided into three parts; the reptile or lizard brain (known as the amygdala), this is where the fear lives, the middle brain is where your emotions live. This is the brain that can help feed the fear to paralyze you in a crisis or feed the third brain to help control the lizard brain and execute. The third brain, called the new brain, both because it is most recent evolution in humans (all things being relative) and because it is where you rationalize the world you live in. This is where you can really start to control fear.

A fire fighter isn’t fearless, they understand the risk and the fear but train in order to execute when the flames are highest and the danger at its greatest point.

Put another way, I have always said there are only two types of people in the world, those who can take a punch and keep fighting — and those who crumple and quit. If you are the three year old excited in a tent waiting for the monster to arrive, you likely are the get back up sort of person.

The type of person who understands you might not beat every monster but if you don’t get up and fight, the monster wins — every time. The type of person who uses the emotional brain to dull the fear and heighten the rational response to the monster, call it the “not in my house” response to fear.

There are as many monsters in business as there are in my backyard, competitors, new innovations, price, weather, fluctuations in the market, employees, customers, managers, culture, email, social media, global economies, scope creep, bad project management, or any other disruption.

The monster is always coming.

How will you respond?

Are you the type of person who takes things head on? Will you get out of the tent and invite the monster to dance? Or are you going to wait until the monster has devoured 30% of your business until you launch crisis management in response? Much like customer service the ROI of taking the monster head on is much greater than waiting until there is a problem to take some sort of action. By that time, some of these monsters can do so much damage it would be very hard to recover in time to save your employees, customers, or the business itself.

The speed at which the world works in 2015 only increases the speed and number of the monsters you encounter over the course of a year. How are you going to respond? I know what my daughter will do, right foot forward, left foot back, hands up, and head down, ready for the fight.

The monster is always coming.

Will you be the hero of this story? Or become a causality consumed by fear and the digital age?