I was listening last night and today to all the commentators discussing Brexit. I then saw some highlights of a talk that President Obama gave today. He said that Brexit was a reaction to the challenges of Globalization. I think he is right. As I post now on my Youtube channel, I am working on a series called "Business in the Internet Age". One of the themes that comes out of that is the global audience and how this impacts a business. Many small businesses can not see the tidal wave of Global Competition coming to them and are not ready when it is. There are some professions that simply are not viable as a stand alone business anymore. You can get similar quality online at a fraction of the cost. It can be greatly upsetting to find that the thing that you spent 20+ years doing just doesn't cut it anymore. I can't turn back time, but I work with them to re-describe their business in a way that is profitable again. People in general don't have the kind of help that I bring to business owners. Some of them have reacted by not looking into the future and thinking about what might happen. They let the world pass around them and can't react when there are changes. They don't like the changes as it upsets the status quo of their life. You can't really blame them. What they have been doing to make their life better no longer works. They react and sometimes overreact. On top of that our confrontational style of looking at the events of the day have added to the burden that people have.
The unfortunate part is that this has become mixed with racism at many levels. But what I have found interesting is that two words have now taken on a negative connotation: Nationalism and Populism. The rise of Nationalism near the beginning of the 19th Century culminated in the end of the multi-cultural Empires of World War I. Wilson's 14 points have extended this and it has been a balancing act for all of us. What is a minority that is expressing self-determination and what is a terrorist group? Populism has been that streak of politics that has been against the elites, taking the side of regular individuals. The negative comes about when people are fed lies by demagogues. Not so long ago those words were used in a positive light.
What can you do? Educate yourself. Look into the future and see what changes are coming at you. Investigate the positions of leaders who want you to think one way or another. Think critically about what anyone says. I like define myself as an Extreme Moderate taking Moderation to the Extreme. But each of you must find your own way. All I ever ask is that you remember that just because someone disagrees with you doesn't automatically make them stupid or evil. If you start with honest disagreement, you can find that other's poking at your views can lead to better clarity in what you think and how you got there. Nothing wrong with that.
Let me use one example of where it gets odd. Companies in the US sell a lot of product into the EU. When they do, they have to obey EU regulations that apply. So, any notion that this is a special barrier because you are part of the EU makes no sense - whether the UK is out of the EU or inside it. What this means to me is that not much is going to actually change right away. There will be some turmoil because the news cycle craves crisis, but for the average person it won't actually mean very much in the short term. In the long term, there are always opportunities to redefine our path forward.
Jim Sackman Focal Point Business Coaching Business Coaching, Executive Training, Sales Training, Marketing
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