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Success in the 21st Century: the New Rules of Engagement

By Linda Zander

All the "sure" boats to success have seemingly gone down. On a daily basis I hear people muttering a new belief: "Success just isn't possible right now." The drive to achieve ones goals, dreams and aspirations have been chucked overboard as impossible rubbish and have been replaced with a new belief: "It's a desperate time where the best one can hope for is to just make it through without losing everything."

The truth is that everyone still wants to achieve success today more than ever. And, it is not only possible but achievable! Our hopes, dreams and goals are still residing inside of us waiting to be unleashed but most people have lost their courage to trust themselves and to act upon their own instincts. We, the people are waiting for our World Leaders and experts to figure it out for us. We stand by waiting for them to deliver a "new way" to get us out of this rut when the power to bring about change is within each of us. The truth is that the world leaders, experts and we, the members of society cannot exist without each other. We have a shared and collective co-responsibility and ability to bring about positive change.

The one irrevocable truth that has emerged during this time of tumultuous "change" is that a new set of rules of engagement is required to bring us back home to hope, inspiration, motivation and success once again.

In my practice as a Sustainable Success coach, I have successfully assisted many people to continuously create success during this current economic and emotional time by using my "New Rules of Engagement" for a new era of commerce for sustainable success. Take a look at the "old way" versus the new way and give them a try. Many, including myself, are achieving new and continued successes in spite of what many perceive as the worst economic times of our lifetime.


  1. Defensive Strategies: This creates antagonism, adversarialism and perceived "bad faith" efforts. Using defensive tactics is a fear-based strategy that creates opponents rather than partners for lasting wealth and well-being.

  2. Negotiating Using Right vs. Wrong: Creates conflict and prevents harmony where mutual benefit and gain can emerge resulting in successful outcomes.

  3. Power-Over Advantage: No longer do we see survival of the fittest based upon sheer strength. It is the determined and open-minded who are willing to negotiate from peace rather than fear that will produce long term gains for all concerned.

  4. Non-Transparency: Breeds fear and lack of trust. No longer does non-transparency work to produce a sustainable bottom line or future wealth and well-being economy for individuals, corporations or relationships.

  5. Competitive Take-Over: Working from a primary model of competitive elimination creates a lack of opportunity between individuals and entities that can gain benefit from each other's strengths and abilities.
  1. Neutralizing Strategies: Examining, expressing and striving for the middle ground. Remember that each person's "position" or "pole" is the variation of the same thing. For example: A coin has two sides: a head and a tail. But the coin cannot be a coin without each side. Do not attempt to disprove the other's "side"; but recognize that each side has validity and strive to bring them together in harmony rather than insisting only one side is valid. This avoids chaos and creates stabilization and harmony.

  2. Negotiate Through Open-Minded Information Sharing: There is no such thing as right or wrong. There is interpretation of facts and figures. Be willing to hear, ponder and understand the other side's interpretation of facts, figures, information etc. Understanding their mindset and sharing yours is the bridge to creating shared resolutions and successful outcomes.

  3. Relationship Building: Achieve a neutral position and condition of mutual benefit for long-term gain for all concerned by looking at every interaction, negotiation, situation and event as a long-term prospect. Approaching situations from a relationship building attitude creates cooperation rather than opposition that will not provide sustainable success for any of the parties directly or indirectly involved.

  4. Diplomatic Transparency: Transparency is having the courage to own your own truth and then have the willingness to share it. Truth is the opposite of fear which is the only pathway to sustainable success be it financial or relationship. Withholding truth breeds fear and lack of trust. Having the courage to share your truth is the beginning of true self-trust, intimacy and sustainable success. Diplomatic Transparency is knowing what, when and how to share your truth with compassion.

  5. Non-Monism Commerce: Understand and work from a mind-set of knowing that there is not any one sole source from which positive growth, expansion and success can come from. Too many of us lock onto one prospect or source as "the one" and hold onto it so tightly that potentially superior alternative opportunities are missed. Keep working the "deal" in front of you, but continue to cast your net wide and far, opening yourself to other prospects. Have confidence in your offering and know when to pass on an opportunity that isn't unfolding according to your values. Trust that there is always an abundance of opportunity that can fill the space that you've just opened.
The successful 21st Century entrepreneur is one who understands what the new "sure thing" is: It is acting upon the TRUTH of your own values and having the courage, conviction, persistence and integrity to hold onto that truth. From your position of passionate integrity you will achieve the seemingly "impossible" and will be a significant mover in bringing forth the new 21st century model of commerce. The model which is built upon: integrity of self-trust and truth, faith rather than fear, strategic alliance rather than hostile competitiveness and, finally, the certainty that there exists in life a naturally occurring constant state of opportunity for the achievement of sustainable wealth and well-being.

"It's not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are." --Roy Disney

Copyright © 2009, Linda Zander. All rights reserved.
Linda Zander is an accomplished entrepreneur, sustainable success coach and professional speaker. She is a natural visionary and intuitive who is dedicated to bringing her personal and business wisdom to the lives of others.

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