Wonk wonk wonk wonk wonk wonk wonk wonk wonk. This is what I hear now every time I find myself trapped into listening to either Presidential candidate speak. If I'm on the treadmill in the gym, or in an elevator, or at a doctor's office where the TV is broadcasting a story or smear-campaign ad, I hear the voice of the teacher in the Peanuts/Charlie Brown movies.
Regardless of who wins, half of the United States will be irate. The mud-slinging will continue. There will be no grace in the outcome. Results will be contested, disputed, and protested. Other countries will continue to incredulously observe just how divisive we are.
Members of our youngest generations - those that will one day run our companies, and campaign for our offices - will continue to think that hate-filled campaigning is just the way things are done in this country.
How can you rise above and go beyond the negativity that will ensue in the coming days and weeks following the election? How can you refuse to get dragged into more divisive conversations, and continue to make progress with your personal and professional goals?
There are two mindsets you can pledge to adapt now:
1: Mindset of the Victor (regardless of the outcome).
2: Mindset of Opportunity.
Mindset of the Victor
Far too many people are placing their own fates and futures in the hands of political outcomes.
"If she wins, the sky will fall." "If he wins, the sky will fall." No. This will not happen. Regardless of who wins, the sun will rise another day. Your business will continue to grow.
While businesses do need to strategically plan for both potential outcomes, we all must remember that we personally have control over our futures, and business owners have control over the success of their businesses.
Each party will have different spending priorities. These priorities influence the strengths of various business sectors. So obviously, it's important for leaders to understand where the political parties fall regarding key issues, and how those positions may impact their businesses.
However, at the end of the day, we all choose how we allocate our energy, time, and resources. While one outcome may create greater challenges than another for your specific business, you still have control over your outcomes.
One of the most important aspects of leadership is the ability to pivot...the ability to take stock of a situation, learn what the impact will be on your business, and then respond accordingly.
Regardless of the election outcome, you must believe that you can do the things you need to do in order to move your business forward.
Success lies in your own hands. It will always begin and end with your personal belief that you can succeed in any political environment.
Mindset of Opportunity
While at least half of the country will be focused on the potential negativity that may follow the election results, as leaders we have a tremendous opportunity to set the tone, and find opportunities to do things differently.
One of the fundamental philosophies of Yin-Yang Theory is that within every crisis lies opportunity. It is always within our darkest hours that we are forced to create new solutions to find our way back to the light.
Our country will be fractured on November 9th. It will be full of fear, frustration, and uncertainty regardless of who wins. As leaders, we have the influence to reverse that momentum. There is so much opportunity for growth, progress, collaboration, and hope.
Change is always painful, and this will be no different, but the opportunities to improve, and to be better than what we've been during this election cycle are plentiful.
When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.
As a leader, you can choose to embrace opportunity for change, to reject the negativity, and to pivot the conversation.
More than ever, our country needs business and political leaders committed to progress, cooperation, collaboration, peace, and inclusion to step forward and speak up.
Our employees will be watching how we respond to the outcomes. Our children will be watching as well. Will you encourage forward movement? Or will you encourage fear?
We will all have a choice in our responses.
How will you contribute your voice to this conversation? What will you choose?