The Covid-19 pandemic hit the U.S. like a severe weather event: Fueled by adrenaline and urgency, most business owners stopped everything this spring to hunker down for what we hoped would be a very temporary crisis. Then, we held our breath for months, waiting for signs that it was OK to start planning again.

But as we continue to steer our businesses through the pandemic--and social unrest, natural disasters, and more economic uncertainty--it's become easy to wonder: Is "all this" the new normal?

The truth, however, is that if we were to return to running our businesses for the world as it existed in January 2020, we'd likely be disappointed. Because, like it or not, we know that life is change: Changing how we identify opportunities and risk, changing how we manage, how we use technology, how we network, how we acquire and keep customers, and how we think about the value of work itself. And the people who embrace change the fastest are the ones who stand to win big.

In addition to coaching business executives, I work with Navy SEALs and Green Berets. These women and men are not thrown by unforeseen challenges--they're trained to expect shocks to the system and to use extreme situations to learn and improve.

Navy SEAL candidates, for example, go through six months of one of the most challenging basic training regimens in the world. It's all capped off by Hell Week--when they spend five and a half days doing thousands of sit-ups and pushups, carrying 250-pound logs on their heads until they have bald patches, paddling boats in frigid temperatures, and running two miles each way to meals--all on an average of about 45 minutes of sleep per night. Traditionally, only about 25 percent finish.

If you ask Navy SEAL instructors how candidates last until the end of their training, their answer is simple: They make it through by knowing they're going to make it through.

In other words, they don't wonder. They don't hope. They decide they're going to make it. Business owners can help themselves a lot by learning to do the same.

No one knows how things will shape up in the post-pandemic world. In that way, we are all equal. But some very smart people have been analyzing developments in their industries to determine what tomorrow might be like and what leaders need to do to come out a winner.

In this special report, industry experts share some of their insights and predictions about the future--where the playing field has been leveled because the old field has gone away.

Add their responses to your playbook for propelling your business--and your life--forward. It's time to stop mourning what our businesses have lost and start the hard work of regaining control of our destiny. Tomorrow will belong to those who have access to the best information and the guts to act on it. The future is waiting to be created.

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