Adaptive navigation for sales and marketing

Let me ask you this question: How many times have you come face-to-face with a challenge or a problem and doubted your ability to deal with it? What happened next? Hesitation, anxiety, uncertainty, despair and lost momentum, right?

Well, here’s a key message of this Life-Tool:

Nothing ever happens to you that wasn’t supposed to happen to you. And nothing happens to you that you can’t handle — even though it may sometimes feel like it. Whatever you need, you already have inside you, around you or in a person close to you. Adaptive Navigators always know how to do it, how to learn how to do it, or how to find someone to help them do it. But they are not delusional. If they’re trained as marketers or salespeople, they’re not going to volunteer for an assignment in civil engineering. They play off their strengths.

Our most stressful moments are when we believe that we have no options. That’s when we become desperate. That’s when we hear people say: “It’s hopeless” or “I’ve tried everything” or “It’s impossible”. Well, the instant you believe that you have no options, you lose all your personal power. Desperation and panic are Siamese twins. They cloud our judgement and literally make us sick. Think about it: desperation and panic are not just emotions, they are physical states that make us do things that we always regret later on. Worry, fear and anxiety can kill you emotionally, financially and ultimately physically.

The core belief of Adaptive Navigators, on the other hand, is that there is no such thing as a hopeless situation, there are just people who become hopeless about the situation. They know they always have options. They don’t waste time or energy lamenting what should be or what might have been. The way things are, is the way things should be, because that’s the way things are. So they deal with them. They are centred because they know that delays are not denials. They just know that they’ll ultimately triumph. They don’t groan, they grow. They have a sense of certainty that a risk taken will reward the risk taker — even if the final outcome is not entirely clear at the outset.

According to Elle Magazine, C Robert Cloninger, PhD, a professor of psychiatry and genetics at Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis, has identified an actual biological reward that accompanies Adaptive Navigation. Cloninger was one of the first to connect two neurotransmitters, dopamine and seratonin, to inborn brain mechanisms that seem to govern confident behaviour. Dopamine, the chemical by-product of an adrenaline rush, lingers in the brain after a challenging event, stimulating its pleasure centers and creating a feeling of euphoria that’s considered the reward for fear. So, if you want a natural physical high while strengthening your mental muscles, become an Adaptive Navigator. Stretch. Savour the risk. Savour the reward.

Importantly, Adaptive Navigators may not always have been so adaptive; they have painstakingly built their unique bundle of skills and beliefs to succeed. What didn’t kill them made them stronger. And perhaps the most important skill of all is simply “Problem Solving” – the ability to resolve difficult or complex matters quickly and effectively. That’s why your answer to the following question will determine whether you are literally worth a million dollars to your team or organisation: Are you the go-to-person when it comes to solving difficult problems? If you answered “yes”, I’d like to hear from you. Seriously, I want to meet you. The more Potent Problem Solvers I know, the greater my powers of Adaptive Navigation will be. Please e-mail me at

I’ve learnt that Adaptive Navigation is first and foremost a team sport. Complexity and Massive Change are not games for solo artists. I seek out kindred spirits who amplify my power. That’s why I chose Environics as my team when I came to Canada in 2000. In my native South Africa, I was a celebrated author, speaker and communication coach to the country’s most successful companies. In Canada, I was a complete unknown in a very different climate with very different inhabitants. There was no way I could have achieved anything on my own. By chance, I read an article in The Globe and Mail by Michael Adams, President of Environics, on the schizophrenic state of the Canadian psyche in late 1999. “If times are so good,” the headline read, “Why do we feel so bad?” It went on to describe some of the Tides of Change featured earlier. I contacted Michael Adams. We met. There was an immediate “simpatico” and, nine months later, we joined forces. Why am I telling you this story? Adaptive Navigators attract other Adaptive Navigators. As members of similar tribes, they have an affinity for each other. And the more Adaptive Navigators you surround yourself with, the more powerful you’ll become.

Mike Lipkin would be delighted to share your points of view. So please e-mail them to me at

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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