How the Pandemic is Changing the Rules of Success


The Pandemic will go down in history as the tragedy of our lifetimes. But it has set off what is being called a “future of work” revolution that is still in its infancy. This tectonic-sized shift has bestowed new leverage on workers: from frontline, essential employees all the way up the ladder.

Other ramifications: Eighty-eight percent of employers are seeing higher turnover. Two out of three workers are actively looking for new opportunities. The abundance of open jobs is making workers feel more confident about pursuing options, changing jobs, or doubling down in their present line of work and really going for advancement and higher pay. It’s an unprecedented period of opportunity for personal growth, career advancement, and pursuing work-life balance not to mention unprecedented compensation leverage for millions of people.

In this new environment, personal reinvention is more important than ever. And more rewarded than ever.

For years, I’ve encouraged my coaching clients to be more entrepreneurial and opportunistic about their careers. I’ve written books (Innovation is Everybody’s Business) that basically said if you believe in yourself and you develop your I-Skills (innovation skills) to go along with your technology and functional skills, you’re going to be unstoppable. You’re going to become indispensable to yourself, your employer, your community, and your family.

Routine work and too much screen-time has produced mental passiveness. The skillfulness to shift your own thinking into “possibility mode” is just that, a skill. Personal reinvention is more important now than ever because you can’t lead others if you can’t lead yourself.

As we slowly emerge from the pandemic, there are new rules for leading your career and your company in this new era, and that they are just now being written.

One “rule” is that it’s essential to have your own early warning system is one of the new rules for success. This sounds complicated but it’s incumbent to monitor and upgrade what I call your “information diet.”

We’re all trying to get a drink from a firehose of information coming at us these days. But the fact is, there’s strategy and technique to this, as well as self-discipline. My advice is: separate “news you can use” from your need to be entertained, distracted. Skip the trivial aspect of the news and the blathering and gossip of pundits on television. If you’re relying on free news and free information that’s out there on the internet, that may indicate the importance – or lack of importance – of an information strategy in your life.

Instead, challenge yourself to learn up on a new topic a week, such as artificial intelligence, or blockchain, or whatever. Start a file on the topic so you can review your takeaway ideas later.