Career & Business Survival; Get the Hell Off the “X”

In your career and in business, we always face challenges. The key is to never get frozen and to get the hell off the “X” as fast as possible. Avoid the anvil at all costs.

Surprises occur on a daily basis. They happen in interviews, business meetings, one-on-one with peers or supervisors, etc. How you manage the off balancing in each of those exchanges maps directly towards your success in life. Period.

When things go sideways it is easy to go fetal, lay there and whine about things, however I highly doubt anyone got to a better place by doing that. Going fetal is never a good strategy.

Mental toughness and emotional durability are hard wired in all of us but can also be learned. It is all perspective and interpretation. You decide what outcomes mean to you and a result is a result ONLY if you allow the outcome to come to a stop right there. Never allow anyone else’s interpretations or fears decide what something means to you.

“I am an incredibly powerful optimist who looks for the liability in everything.”

Those who know me are aware that I have been deep into the martial arts for more than 35 years. I hold Black Belts in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Aikido and Tae Kwon Do. I love all combat sports and the challenges of one-on-one competition. One-on-one combative sports teach you incredible problem solving skills in real time.

I have been fortunate enough to have had amazing instructors over the years. Although the best lessons in combat were given to my by my dear friend Tony Blauer (SPEAR System). If you don’t know Tony, look him up. He is the godfather of Self-Protection.

Tony’s system pivots around what is hard-wired in all of us, the flinch. When something comes at us too fast or without warning, we are hard wired to flinch.

“…get the hell off the “X” as fast as possible. Avoid the anvil at all costs.”

Tony taught me one of my most prized lessons in my business life that I believe literally has been worth millions of dollars. I am paraphrasing here but Tony said, “You are ALWAYS going to flinch when a stimulus comes at you, expected or not. How long you stay in that flinch or “oh-shit” moment, paired with your ability to convert to a tactical mindset with what your tools/skills are once you are out of the flinch moment will determine your likelihood of survival.”

His lessons though map directly to business and high performance.

Paying homage to Tony, I have respectfully called the flinch in his physical world “Clock Speed” in my business world.

Clock-speed is having a massive stimulus occur — a stimulus that is an assault on your senses. Followed by your ability to mentally and psychologically cycle through the dissonance in your body and emerge with a response that is tactical in nature. Your outcome would be to move back to at least a neutral position, but depending on your skills and training it may also be an advantageous position.

Even though Tony was talking about a physical attack on the street, I always ran his system through my business brain. Business is a fight. You are constantly managing the battle. A majority of the time it is an organized fight, like matches in organized combat sports where the rules of engagement are predictable. Having said that, sometimes shit goes rogue and there are no standard rules of engagement.

That sniper attack and the ability to manage it effectively is the difference between average EQ and brilliant EQ. The difference between winning or losing.

Your Own Personal Algorithm

Once I know the possibilities and probabilities of a situation, I can rapidly process through my strengths, assets and skills and select a response that I believe is the best for me at that moment in time. I refer to this as my personal algorithm. I then engage my own personal-algorithm (EQ) against the situation and continue to enhance my position.

The world is about patterns. Patterns are everywhere.

NFL quarterbacks are taught to read patterns against defenses. The ones who quickly read and react to them generally are the best. Think Tom Brady.

Patterns form when you drive on the interstate and you can see moves ahead as you switch out lanes. Some drivers stay “in their lane” and that is their choice. I switch lanes, not necessarily to get somewhere faster, I am switching lanes to have better options when the ass-hat next to me cuts over and potentially side swipes me as he is reading texts on his phone. I create space for myself “just in case”. That is the same in life.

Studying patterns and what they mean directly lead to success.

In business, bad shit happens all the time. But it only gets tagged as “bad shit” if that is the label you give it. “Bad shit” is only bad if that is where you let it come to a rest. However if you take an outcome that is less than desirable and keep it in motion and redirect it, you tend to get much better outcomes as you move that situation down range.

“Bad shit happens all the time. But it only gets tagged as “bad shit” if that is the label I give it.”

You should never doubt yourself or your ability to hack something or figure it out. Also, don’t ignore potential risks in the game that you are in, but don’t let those perceived risks paralyze you. You can quickly process potential consequences based upon your current skill set and mental state. Have a self-awareness of where you are emotionally at that moment in time. You are never in a steady state of skills, talents or potential responses, things ebb and flow all the time. Evaluate your potential responses based upon your current state and get the hell off the “X”.

In future articles I will be sharing more about clock-speed, flinching in business (see if we can get Tony to join in) and what your skills / tools should be once you convert the flinch/oh-shit moment.

Be an optimist who sees the liability in everything.