Photo by Nareeta Martin on Unsplash

The first half of 2020 hasn’t been what anyone expected. In fact, the challenges of the past few months have left many people wondering if the world will ever break free from this season of hardship. There are signs that things are getting better, but many people remain skeptical about the future and whether or not things will be better.

Leaders, I want to ask you a vital question: do you believe you have the competence, confidence and ability to sustain this difficult time and to have a more brilliant future than anything you’ve experienced in the past?

Despite our current financial realities, our leadership team here at the John Maxwell Enterprise is resolved that we are going after a more brilliant future with more zest than we ever have before.

So many leaders have asked me over the last three months, “Where do I even begin in planning for the future?” For now, I have two prevailing answers.

1. Stop comparing.

Comparison is going to impede your health. Comparison is going to stall your growth. Comparison is going to cripple your team. So stop comparing!

Yes, I mean stop comparing yourself to others; but I also mean stop comparing yourself to yourself! Your goals for 2020 should not exist right now. It’s not going to happen. Don’t compare yourself to those goals. Write new goals. Last year’s performance is history.

Stop comparing yourself to others. So, the business down the street got more from the government stimulus plan? Who cares!? Forget about it. The longer you spend looking at what they have instead of managing what you have, the more you will paralyze yourself and your team.

Quit playing the comparison game and take control of the future of your business.

Your propensity to familiar and comfortable leadership is causing you to wait for the world to return to normal. Game-changer alert: the world is not returning to normal.

It’s a waste of time to pick up the pieces and try to put the same box back together. Go envision a new box. The box that worked yesterday will not work tomorrow. How do I know? The global impact is too extensive, and the long-term ramifications will be too violent.

Your ability to quit comparing today or tomorrow to “normal yesterday” or “normal a year ago” is going to be a difference maker for you as we blaze our way into the future.

2. Get serious about your intentional think time.

The need for serenity is amplified when the world around you is chaotic. Find a time and place where you can break away from the storm and get centered so that you can build and dream.

Planning for the future must take place in serenity, not on the height of an emotional wave that could come crashing down with the next news report. And it certainly shouldn’t come from a place of desperation where you’re in a hurry to do something. Nope! You will not come up with good plans there.

You need to settle yourself.

You need to remove the emotionalism.

You need to limit the chaos of distraction.

You need to silence the voices.

Then, you need to reach deep into the vision and purpose that is already inside you. That is where you will begin to envision what the future will look like.

For some, the notion of shaping a new future is terrifying—they’d rather hold on to the past. But leaders, this is our opportunity to not only shape a new future but create that future to our specifications. All we have to do is let go of yesterday and dream about what tomorrow can be.

The future is ours. Let’s lead!

7 Comments

  1. Ed Feldhaus on May 29, 2020 at 2:08 pm

    Meditating in the Word and on who we are in Christ and worshiping unto the Lord in songs and praying a lot in other tongues will keep leaders in the secret place of the MOST HIGH. Free from the circumstances of this pandemic. And of course being filled with God so the leader has something to give to the people he ministers to.

  2. Susan DItson on May 29, 2020 at 2:36 pm

    Mark, this is exactly what we need to embrace as leaders in our circles of influence! Thank your sharing your insight.

  3. Lu Parsons on May 29, 2020 at 3:49 pm

    II Tim. 2:7 God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and of love and a sound mind. Ruling out of fear comes from the loss of a sound mind and reason that come from power and love. Thank you for your words and encouragement. It is easy to forget that each day is an opportunity to learn from focusing on what is true power, love and a sound mind to lead and move forward.

  4. John Fyucha on May 30, 2020 at 8:13 am

    First time on this site and certainly this article is of great help. I have been stuck with the comparisons. After reading through I should stop comparing where I was before with where I am

  5. Dan Williams on May 30, 2020 at 5:25 pm

    Thank you Pray for our country

  6. Chris Holden on June 1, 2020 at 10:31 am

    Timely words, much appreciated
    Thank you

  7. Shauna Snyder on June 1, 2020 at 11:26 am

    This is so awesome and I needed this today! I have a bad habit of acting with emotions and fear. I have already been trying to stop that, to be more settled, to live in peace and be intentional! Thank you for the confirmation and more importantly, the reminder!

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