Before The Great Recession, many bought into the concept of the Law of Attraction. That is, expect good people and good things to enter our lives and that will happen. The converse, we also were convinced, was true: Be negative about opportunities in life and, well to use the metaphor of the season, there will sure enough be coal in our stockings.
Now, the recovery is under way and, economists predict, should be full steam ahead by 2014. So, it's time to let Santa know that our mindset is on abundance. If we need to be reminded about the power of high expectations journalist Chris Berdik has done us the favor of packaging information and insight about that process in his new book "Mind Over Mind: The Surprising Power of Expectations."
"Mind Over Mind" presents an abundance of research about how smart educated human beings can be fooled into providing top performance through manipulation of their expectations. In Chapter 1 "Running on Empty," Berdik gives this example:
" ... dummy performance boosters (and false feedback) have helped runners and cyclists push their limits, often significantly, though not in every case ... When told they were getting a placebo ... the cyclist's performance dropped below the baseline."
The implications for us in communications should be profound. In marketing for 2013, which most of the elves in our offices are busy doing, we should oversee all that with a mindset that we have something prospects and current clients need. For them to agree on that, of course, we have to stop and listen. We have to invest our time in doing due diligence on their needs. No, we can't desperately jump in, as we too often did, during the dark days post-2008, and force-fit solutions.
Investing the time to do a needs assessment is the prerequisite to abundance of business. Years ago, Harvard Business School professor Rosabeth Kanter published the then-breakthrough book "Confidence." It deconstructed how and why downward and upward trajectories happened and became sustained. One reason distressed organizations and individuals couldn't reconfigure a losing cycle was that they didn't believe in themselves enough to invest the resources for a turnaround.
Therefore, in our letters to Santa we must include our determination to invest ourselves totally in making 2013 one of abundance for our communications work.