A.I.M. in a Shifting Market

It is confidence in our bodies, minds, and spirits that allows us to keep looking for new adventures, new directions to grow in, and new lessons to learn— which is what life is all about.

Oprah Winfrey

As Alex and I finish our work on this book, the world economy is still very much in flux. Some markets are still experiencing high levels of unemployment, growing uncertainty, downsizing in the workplace, and rising feelings of despair and hopelessness. Others are beginning to show some initial signs of recovery, but many of these signs are tenuous and have yet to take root to the extent that they can overcome the fear and wariness that began to sweep across the world in 2008.

Such an uncertain economy would seem like an unlikely place for a new beginning for your career and life. But that is exactly what dozens of my coaching clients have found over the years. I have lived and worked through several major and minor recessions. During all of them, the A.I.M. method has helped people focus, overcome their challenges, and move their lives forward.

My work with Mike in the recession that followed the horrors of the 9/11 attacks offers a good example. He was a graduate of a business school at one of the major universities I work with. One day when I was on campus coaching some MBA students, a professor approached me to ask me for a favor for a former student of his.

He explained that Mike had been an exemplary student in the schools Executive MBA program just a ...

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