The Ten Essentials (Part 2)

BootsLast week I introduced the idea of “Ten Essentials” for surviving the business world, a modification of the Ten Essentials list used by the Boy Scouts of America and other outdoor adventure groups. As a quick review, the first five items on the list are:

1. Clearly defined goals and a strategy to meet them.
2. Regular education to help you stay sharp.
3. Positive influences.
4. A supportive supervisor.
5. An effective support team.

This week, we conclude the list. Here are items six through ten.

[table caption=”The Ten Essentials” width=”600″ colwidth=”150|225|225″ colalign=”left|left|left”]
,Backcountry Explanation,Business Version
6. Knife/Multi-tool,Useful for tasks as large as building an emergency shelter or as small as repairing a damaged backpack.,Job aids and worksheets – resources that help make the important jobs easier.
7. Sun Protection,Includes items such and sunscreen and a wide-brimmed hat. Used to prevent sunburn and possibly heat exhaustion.,A healthy dose of determination to keep you going when the heat is on.
8. First Aid Kit,A basic first aid kit can help prevent small injuries from becoming large problems and buy time when more advanced treatment is not readily available.,A bag of resources(people and/or procedures) you can call upon to help fix a damaged project or broken customer relationship.
9. Flashlight,Important for finding one’s way at night.,Core values to help you find your way when the decision isn’t easy or the way forward isn’t clear.
10. Fire Starter,Used to light fires for heat or cooking and for signaling purposes.,Something (or someone)to provide a motivational spark when you need it.

Many who review the Ten Essentials list quickly conclude it’s incomplete. “What about shelter?” they ask. “Why isn’t a cell phone on the list, or at least a knowledgeable companion?” When reviewing my list of the Ten Essentials for business, you could ascertain that it’s incomplete as well. Training isn’t listed; nor is a valuable product or advanced technological resources.

Keep in mind that neither list is intended to be comprehensive. The Ten Essentials list is meant to serve as a starting point. Using these items, and nothing else, you can survive in the wilderness for a time (ideally until you are rescued or able to navigate back to civilization). The business essentials list is similarly just a starting point. Many working men and women survive each day by relying on the meager resources I’ve laid out.

Sadly, many people today see survival as the end goal. But who wants to simply survive? Survival isn’t fun. It’s hard work, requiring a constant expenditure of energy just to exist. It involves avoiding risk and adventure in favor of (hopefully) protecting what you already have. Survival is a defensive, paranoid way of thinking.

I don’t want to survive. I want to thrive. I want to grow and expand. I want to create an environment that’s comfortable and attractive. I want to build a set of circumstances where the odds are stacked in my favor, not against me. “Thrival,” not survival, is my goal.

But in order to move from survival to thrival, you have to equip yourself with more than the bare minimum. You can’t be satisfied with “good enough” or avoid taking risks. You have to adopt a growth mindset and set your eyes on a better future state. In the world of survival, the Ten Essentials list is all you need. In the world of thrival, it’s just the beginning.

Which world do you want to live in?


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