We are in the most spoiled economy in modern history
We are rushing into 2022 on a golden economical tidal wave that really is unprecedented in recent history. We are looking at a steaming hot economy that has had its longest growth streak in over a century and at market conditions that - despite a very minor hick-up in 2020 caused by the pandemic - couldn't be better in most industries. We are experiencing a remarkable déjà-vu of the dotcom bubble with the emergence of blockchain technology that has created not one, but several markets with multi-trillion dollar market capitalizations that have yet to prove their fundamental value but are attracting both private and institutional investors in flocks. We are witnessing an entire generation of talents that have never experienced any tough economical environment and who deem it completely normal that companies are courting them to join their purposeful mission rather than having them apply for a job. We are seeing an entire generation of entrepreneurs and founders that have never experienced anything different than the current global capital markets that are more accessible than ever before and overflowing with excess cash. They are used to a world in which acquiring funding for companies is a game being broadcasted in TV shows!
Your leadership is required
This is a prosperous economic peace-time in which the fight for talents and for building the best environment to attract and retain an all-star team has never been easier and is the deciding factor for success in the market. It is also a time for rapid expansion. Because growth is so very easy under these conditions, it is crucial to contextualize it and understand that even growth rates that under different circumstances may be extraordinary for your business and for your industry could easily leave you in the average range or even in the lower percentiles of the players in your field. And finally, it is an environment that gives you the resources and leeway to enable you to set your personal professional goals and pursue them. It is easy for organizations to enable you, place trust in you and give you the resources you need to build your vision. It is just as easy to venture out on your own because the marketplace is good. This is the time to expand your responsibilities and develop your capabilities on your terms. However, one thing must be abundantly clear for you as a leader: With all the rah-rah and the wooing going on, it is very easy to lose touch with reality and attribute too much of your current success to your contribution and the contribution of your team. This is not intended to belittle anyone's work, but a reminder that there is no time for complacency. Now is the time to set your direction and prepare for the correction that _will_ follow the current upswing.
What it will mean for you if the current conditions of the world change
The major factor driving the current massive global uptrend is the low interest environment that has been created by the central banks over the last decade. Over the past 20 months, the upswing was artificially upheld by the US Federal Reserve by stimulating the U.S. economy with trillions of dollars. At first glance these seem like technical details, but it is important for you to understand this because the low interest rate is the single cornerstone that will make the house of cards fall once it is removed. All over the world we see rapid expansion tactics, aggressive marketing budgets and large-scale speculative investments in experimental technologies. All of this is fueled by the high availability of cheap cash. These are the driving forces of the current markets and once the interest rates are being raised, most of this will go away over night. Or rather, most of it will change and for most organizations (and people) there will be a substantial shift in focus from growth to operational excellence. And that's all great! This is not supposed to be a doomsday prediction, but a call to be aware of your surroundings. Changing markets are always good for those who are prepared for the change and can execute quickly and decisively. Be aware of the early signs of change in the macro so that you can lead with confidence in the micro. It will be difficult to switch from offense to defense because you will have to switch when the conditions are still good and most won't see it. But this is what separates the followers from the leaders and it will be a unique opportunity for you to show your farsightedness. With all this in mind: maybe 2022 is not the year in which the conditions are changing. Whether we'll see continued growth throughout the year or sudden shifts, the focal question is: what you will make of all of this? To circle in on where you will direct your focus and efforts for the next twelve months, ask yourself:
"What do I want?"
Isn't it amazing that virtually no one is asking this? Why isn't anyone asking this? Almost no one knows what they want. If you don't know where you're going - you can't possibly get there. You can't possibly grow into the person you'll need to be when you arrive. If you can't articulate - specifically - where you want to be, how can you possibly expect to be able to lead your people there? How do you set the right targets? The target is never the problem. Any target pursued with the right actions in the right amounts of persistence is attainable. The real question you need to be asking is: From what purpose do you derive your objectives? Not your organizations purpose or goals. Your purpose and your goals. What do you want to achieve? Until when do you want to achieve this?
What do you want from 2022?
What do you want for your health? For your physical strength? For your family and your relationships? For your career, your business, your craft? What skills and capabilities are you applying every day? And on what? What do you want to be doing? Will you be spending more time with family? With travelling and adventures? With your passion and your work? What makes you proud of your future self? When you look back at 2022, what will you have accomplished?
Call to Action
Outline your wants and needs for 2022
Take 20 minutes to write down your wants, your needs and your musts and be very, very specific and detailed. What do you have to do in order to to achieve your accomplishments? What are you prepared to do to achieve these goals? What steps must you take? I wish you clarity, focus and determination.
Make the most out of the coming year!