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C-suite executives and leaders have a lot on their plates when it comes to successful management of their business or organization. They are in control of the organization’s image, a diverse team of individuals with diverse talents coming together to complete specific tasks, and the successful and timely implementation of multiple projects at any given time.

That is a lot to be responsible for, but as we all know, change is the only constant in the business world. My Anticipatory Organization® Model notes that digital disruption is starting to alleviate some of the need to manage traditional tasks that managers and other business leaders have long managed before. With this transformation, the tasks of managers and business leaders alike are starting to change as well.

What some leaders overlook now is their actual role as managers — the management of perception and distraction.

Perception and Distraction Affect Your Organization

Perception refers to how you and your employees view projects, the company, and customers. Conversely, perception is how customers view your company, its products, and how you solve their own troubles. How each of these elements interact with one another is a determining factor in the significance of your organization and, likewise, how perception turns into reality.

Put simply, perception originates internally and then extends outward. This implies that perception, much like disruption in an Anticipatory Organization, is within your control and can be managed by you and your team. The way you perceive yourselves and your team has a profound impact on your actions, strategies, and the success of the products you introduce.

These actions and products then determine the value customers attach to your organization and how they distinguish you from the competition. It does not happen the other way around. As such, the way you manage perception becomes either an asset to your organization or terribly detrimental!

Now, let’s shift our focus to managing distraction. Unlike perception, which involves creating transformation from the inside out, distraction often originates externally and moves inward, manifesting as disruption and change. Uncontrolled disruption becomes a distraction in its own right, diverting your attention from what truly matters and forcing you, as a leader, to handle crises with agility as an afterthought

So, since perception and distraction are what must be managed more frequently by the business leaders and managers of today, how can this be done to your strategic and competitive advantage instead of leaving them to cause you the stress of setbacks?

Skipping Problems with a Change in Perception

Perception often originates from within the organization, making it vital to see your team as a competitive advantage and a strategic asset for the business. Your team, comprised of critical thinkers and hardworking individuals, plays a significant role in the development and implementation of new products and services. It all starts with you, the business leader, viewing your team through this lens, which, in turn, will incentivize your employees to recognize and act as the valuable asset they truly are.

How does this impact perception of products, services, and customers? By becoming a positive outlook on the organization itself, the adjustment in perception affects how your employees perceive problems they encounter both at the organizational and customer level, tying in with my Skip It Principle.

Do customers perceive a product as being too pricey? Is your company software too slow? Or is it something different entirely? Having a team with a properly managed internal perception helps them effectively challenge the perceived problems that may be holding your organization back as a whole, especially since a perceived problem is not always the real root issue.

Venmo — an app owned by PayPal — allows friends, family, and others to exchange money electronically with no fees. To begin, Venmo had few users, but why was that? Was it a lack of necessity for customers? Was the app difficult to use? These were the questions facing the internal teams at PayPal.

While these questions were concerning, leaders and employees at PayPal refined their perception to skip those perceived problems and instead focus on the opportunity at hand. Customers liked the app, but what they needed most was convenience.

Thus, they launched a marketing campaign on how to use Venmo in stores with just a smartphone. No more need to go to ATMs for cash or carry countless credit cards, as Venmo does it all safely. As a result of this change in their perception of customer needs, Venmo exploded in popularity, becoming one of the most used apps for exchanging money.

Jump to Manage Opportunities Instead of Distractions

Because distractions come from outside of your organization in the form of various disruptions and changes, suddenly a business leader’s attention is held hostage and they have to crisis manage more frequently. Unfortunately, too much crisis management as a business leader shifts the company into neutral, where they become vulnerable to disruption rather than in control of it.

Instead of a reactive approach that involves managing disruption as it happens to avoid distraction, true industry leaders and innovators adopt my Anticipatory Leader approach, which centers on proactively staying ahead of disruption. I’ve taught this approach to many, and it has proven to be highly effective.

The Anticipatory Leader approach leverages Hard Trend future certainties with Soft Trend future possibilities to anticipate disruptions before they occur, turning disruption into opportunity. This doesn’t just minimize distraction, it allows leaders to manage opportunity instead!

Palo Alto Networks is a cybersecurity business that was founded using anticipatory thinking about the internet and digital technology. The need for businesses to protect classified information online is a Hard Trend future certainty, which the founders of Palo Alto Networks recognized and capitalized on as an opportunity to successfully launch their cybersecurity business.

What would have happened if the founders at Palo Alto Networks were left distracted by trying to avoid the issue of security breaches instead of pre-solving the problem the way they did? They likely wouldn’t exist!

In today’s era of transformation, prioritizing the management of a business or organization’s perceptions and distractions is crucial. However, it’s important to recognize that business leaders and managers have more on their plates to manage. While embracing digitally disruptive technology can streamline certain mundane tasks, effective management also entails attending to the very human aspects of leadership.

Take action now and prioritize fostering critical thinking within your team! Empower them to find a deep sense of significance in their contributions to the organization. This will be the key to staying ahead of disruption and minimizing distractions. Act today for a more innovative and focused future!

Posted On Tuesday, 12 September 2023 00:00 Written by
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Posted On Monday, 11 September 2023 00:00 Written by

September is upon us, and Labor Day is behind us; the only thing to do this week and that is to CALL ALL YOUR ACCOUNTANTS! Remember when I shared with you that you were supposed to be collecting accountants from everyone you spoke with when you did your 9’s and 10’s questions? We also talked about connecting with accountants and tax preparers when we reviewed tax returns that our customers supplied to us. Well, now is one of the two times each year we MUST put those efforts to good use! 

The first full week of September for most accountants usually is the signal for them to reach out to all their clients they filed tax extensions for. Since those filings are due in October, now is when they begin the process of collecting documents and preparing those returns! Why is this so important to us? Well, it’s time to reach out and remind those accountants that when they have those conversations it is critically important to ask the question: “Are you planning on buying or selling a house in the next two years?” 

Think about it, these people tend to be either self employed or have multiple streams of income. With complicated lives and income streams, people can often overlook possible opportunities. What opportunities? Simply put, since they are filing in October for tax year 2022, they can also file again in February for 2023. This means that in less than six months, they will have TWO YEARS of documented income! Income that will either help or hurt that client’s ability to borrow mortgage money for that possible transaction!

This may not be important to many of those people, but for those people it does matter too, it matters a lot! Just putting yourself in position to make these calls and have these conversations with these accountants and potentially those clients, really can set you apart from your competition!

Questions or comments: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Posted On Monday, 11 September 2023 00:00 Written by

About half of Gen Zers and millennials who don’t plan to buy a home in the near future say it’s because homes are too expensive

Nearly one of every five (18%) millennials and 12% of Gen Zers who replied to a recent housing survey believe they will never own a home, according to a new report from Redfin (, the technology-powered real estate brokerage.

Lack of affordability is the number-one barrier to homeownership for young Americans. Roughly half of Gen Z and millennial renters who believe they’re unlikely to purchase a home in the near future say the high price of homes on the market is blocking them from buying. That’s the most commonly cited barrier, and it’s followed by several other affordability-related reasons.

Nearly half (46%) of millennials and one-third (33%) of Gen Zers say their lack of ability to save for a down payment is a barrier, and more than one-third of both Gen Zers and millennials say mortgage rates are too high. Roughly one-third also say they’re unable to afford monthly mortgage payments. About one in five (21%) Gen Zers and 16% of millennials say they need to pay off their student loan debt before they’re able to buy a home.

That’s according to a Redfin-commissioned survey conducted by Qualtrics in May and June 2023. The survey was fielded to 5,079 U.S. residents who either moved in the last year, plan to move in the next year, or rent their home. This report focuses on the 1,340 Gen Z (aged 18 to 26) and 1,973 millennial (aged 27 to 42) respondents.

“The worsening housing affordability crisis has an outsized impact on Gen Zers and millennials because they’re much less likely to own a home than older generations,” said Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather. “That means many young Americans don’t benefit from rising home prices by gaining equity. Instead, these would-be first-time homebuyers bear the burden of high prices, high down payments and high monthly mortgage payments, without profits from a previous home to offset the cost. Many young people don’t have a choice between renting and buying. They’re renting their home because even though rent payments have increased, too, it’s still more affordable than buying in much of the country–and renters don’t need a down payment.”

It has become much harder to afford a home since the pandemic began, especially for first-time homebuyers. Median home-sale prices are at record highs, up 40% since 2019. Wages have risen, too, but not as much: Average hourly earnings rose roughly 20% over the same period. Record-low mortgage rates and the increasing prevalence of remote work during 2020 and 2021 fueled intense homebuying demand, which drove prices up. Now, rising mortgage rates have exacerbated the expense of owning a home. Mortgage rates have more than doubled from their low, hitting their highest level in more than 20 years in August, while home prices remain high.

Roughly one-quarter (26%) of Gen Z adults and half (52%) of millennials own their home, compared to 71% of Gen Xers and 79% of baby boomers.

Roughly 40% of Gen Zers and millennials are working second jobs to save for their down payment, and about one-quarter plan to use a cash gift from family

Of the young Americans who are planning to buy a home in the next year, many are turning to side hustles for their down payment. About two of every five Gen Zers (41%) and millennials (36%) say they’ll work a second job to help fund their down payment, the most commonly cited method aside from saving directly from paychecks.

Roughly one-quarter of Gen Z (28%) and millennial (23%) homebuyers expect to receive a cash gift from family for their down payment, while 20% of Gen Zers and 15% of millennials plan to use an inheritance.

Young Americans also cite investments as a way they’ll fund down payments. Just over 20% of both Gen Zers and millennials plan to sell stock, and roughly 15% of both generations plan to sell cryptocurrency.

To view the full report, including charts and more details on the survey, please visit:

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