September 2006. Thousands of jobs are moving to countries every month where they can be done as well for less money. We can’t stop it from happening. But we can change the way we adapt to this new reality and how we engage with it. For many people and companies, these are scary times.
In a groundbreaking new book by leadership development expert Mike Cook, called THRIVE: Standing on Your Own Two Feet in a Borderless World (St. Lynn’s Press, November 2006), the author picks up where Thomas Friedman’s The World Is Flat left off. Cook portrays the outsourced economy as a place where there is opportunity for everyone to win, and introduces the skills and principles important to learn in order to achieve what he calls “self-sufficiency in the context of interdependence.”
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Cook says the key to success in the new outsourced economy is adaptability. Rather than argue with the economic reality, we can learn how to collaborate with it. People who aspire to maintain their value in the outsourced economy can learn to become individual leaders, or self-managers, who choose to take responsibility for their work environment, their personal happiness, and their lifelong learning and career development. This new “bulletproof” employee will trade a need of security for supreme confidence.
THRIVE is a call to action, by necessity if for no other reason, for people to rise to the next level of personal awareness and growth. Cook draws his inspiration from several sources: enlightened business thinkers such as Peter Drucker and Abraham Maslow; the principles of an interconnected universe as shown by Einstein, Fritjof Capra, and others; the spiritual common sense of Lao Tsu, the Buddha, and other champions of the human spirit; and the ancient Sanskrit concept of “dharma,” which states that all of our actions should resonate with our highest self.
Written in thoughtful, literate prose, the book invites readers to participate in Five Levels of Engagement:
- Recognizing Myself: Being fully awake, aware of how you get things done, what you want in life, what your purpose is
- Appreciating Interdependence: Celebrating the innate potential and possibilities of building alliances
- Generating Connections: Leveraging differences and sharing visions of a desired future in which we all win
- Taking Effective Action: Building dharmic value through competence, collaboration, and good reputation
- Being Coached and Coaching Others: Remaining open to the experience and perspective of others while offering support in a safe and respectful manner.
Along with his practical guidelines, Cook recommends proven developmental and assessment instruments, and includes resources and reading materials that expand on his ideas and our skill mastery.
THRIVE is not just for employees who want to increase their professional value. It is also for employers and managers who believe in a culture of mutual success, and for people just entering the job market. The book is for all business people who are willing to replace fear with hope as they seek connectedness and a shared vision in the global workplace.
MIKE COOK is Founding Partner of Vitalwork, Inc., a leadership development firm based in upstate New York. Cook is committed to helping leaders and their workforces claim a graceful and dynamic position in the outsourced economy. His clients include many Fortune 500 companies. Cook is known for his humor, his passion for work, and a voracious appetite for books and ideas.
Contact: Joanne McCall at 503. 642.4191