Are You Losing Your Game? Time To 'Adjust' It.

From Greg Couch in Paris:

"Venus Williams just keeps letting this happen to her, and she throws up her hands as if there is nothing she can do about it.

She had been playing her best tennis in years, and had a shot at moving to No. 1 in the world rankings, where she has spent just 11 weeks in her long career. And then she had an off day Sunday. Now, she's gone. Williams lost 6-4, 6-3 to Nadia Petrova in the fourth round at Roland Garros. It's clear now why Williams has never won the French Open, and never will. It's not about a lack of ability or comfort on clay.

It's unbelievable that someone who has been so great for so long would allow herself to play for all these years without a safety net. She has no adjustments to make, no alterations.

On hot days, the red clay is fast and on cold days it's slow. On wet days, even stickier. On Sunday, it was raining and windy, too. Nothing stays the same, and even on the best of days, you can't just impose physical strength on your opponent, the way Williams plays. The ball slows down when it bounces in this dirt, and gives players a chance to catch up to the power.

Sometimes it happens? Then why not be ready for it? Don't you have to make adjustments?"

Greg is spot on with Venus. Now here's the kicker . . . he sounds like me when I first talk to my clients. Things have been going so well for so long, then all of a sudden, everything falls apart. It's like their career or business just had a 4-6, 3-6 game and they don't know what to do. They've been playing their power game all along and the whole world around them has changed.

And it hits you smack in the center of your face just like a tennis ball. You suddenly realize that you no longer are employed, you're handling multiple positions that have been eliminated, or a majority of your clientele have disappeared. How do you fix this?

It's called FLEXIBILITY. LIMBERNESS. AGILITY. React to external conditions as they change (and you can bet your bottom dollar they will) and take steps to be flexible, limber and agile.

Here are some tips:

  • Keep your eyes open. Major career or business changing events usually don't happen in an instant. There are predictors and subtle changes that should be alerting you. People just don't listen or they obstinately keep their eyes closed to the problem(s). When you see something begin to happen, take some time out to look out on the horizon. What is changing? For the better? For the worse? Who's leaving the company? What projects are being cut? Who is disappearing from certain projects?
  • Set goals. It's that easy. Most executives and business-owners don't have goals. They just trundle along with no targets to hit. You're asking for trouble. Businesses - look at your last 12 months gross revenue, pick your three best months, average them and that is your current target for each month. If you want to be agressive, raise it by 5%. Executives - How is your project/department progressing? Are you hitting your deadlines? Are you receiving increases when you hit something out of the park (great review)?
  • Have a plan in case things change. If the environment is going south, have a backup plan. Businesses - What is another customer base you can tap into? Why aren't you hitting them already? Executives - Is your resume up to date? Are you actively having lunch with colleagues outside of your company to survey the marketplace?

If you begin to attempt just one of these tips and MAKE ADJUSTMENTS, you'll find that you'll be winning the matches, rather than going home a loser.