“You need to see change as a strategy, not a threat.”– Gary Keller
The last few years have been extraordinary. We’ve weathered hurricanes, fires, floods, and a global pandemic. We’ve witnessed an insurrection that polarized a nation and an invasion that destabilized a region. We’ve enjoyed an explosion of home sales and home prices. Then watched it implode with rampant inflation and relentless interest rate hikes. It feels like waiting for the other shoe to drop has become a universal pastime.
These tectonic shifts create crisis and opportunity. Some businesses fade and others flourish. I can’t count the number of times someone has evoked “survival of the fittest” over the last few years. As writer Billy Oppenheimer recently pointed out, that phrase doesn’t mean what you think it does. Surviving in nature (and business) isn’t about strength and might—it’s about adapting to change. The best adapter wins. The challenge this presents is knowing what changes we must accept and which ones we must act on. The answer may lie in the Agency Matrix.
The Agency Matrix is divided into four areas based on how important something is and how much control we have.
- Low Control + High Importance = Ask. When you feel like you don’t have the skills or the ability to do something important to you or your business, stick your pride in your left sock and ask for help. Chances are someone you know has the answer or knows someone who does.
- High Control + High Importance = Act. Business people who act quickly increase the odds they win today (or at least live to fight another day) and can look forward to capturing market share from competitors who fail to act. We know it’s important and we know we can do it. Why the heck don’t we? I think of Keith Cunningham on Think Like a CEO (Apple / Spotify) who shared, “What sabotages our ability to reinvent ourselves is our attachment to the way things used to be.” Yesterday is in the past. Acting in the present is how you change your future.
- Low Control + Low Importance = Accept. You got a flat tire on the way to your big listing appointment. Your flight got canceled. Velma gets greenlighted for a second season by HBO MAX. (Just kidding about that last one.) It’s time to break out the Serenity Prayer. Accept it and don’t let it ruin your day.
- High Control + Low Importance = Automate. There is an endless list of business and personal tasks that don’t matter a lot but still need to be done. Here’s the rub. Many of the tasks we ignore because they don’t seem like a big deal. However, when ignore long enough they can ignite into a crisis that can’t be ignored. Updating the database, following up with leads, getting an oil change, taking out the trash…. Whenever possible, automate these tasks. Create recurring reminders. Leverage software. Get your coach to hold you accountable (to the database, not the trash).
Your assignment, should you accept it, is to take your biggest challenges, plot them on the Agency Matrix, and act accordingly.
One question to ponder in your thinking time: How am I failing to adapt and change to the current market?
Make an Impact!