The Great American Outline

One of the most harmful long-term impacts of the current barrage of negative economic information is that people are putting artificial limits on themselves and their dreams. After all, if we’re all going to hell in a hand basket, why bother trying to go after what you really want in life?

Not only is this waste of human potential a personal tragedy, it has serious consequences for our economy, our society and our world. Innovation drives businesses and ultimately profitability—whether expressed as an incremental improvement or a wholesale change. Look around you. Everything you see came from someone’s imagination and willingness to create. If we buy into the idea that most things aren’t possible, we aren’t even going to allow ourselves to have dreams, much less go after them.

I would argue that this is the best time to go after what you want. You’ve got to admit, you don’t have much competition.

Most people are so psyched out that they’re holding on to their jobs for dear life—whether they want them or not. And those that are currently searching have been so demoralized that they’re approaching opportunities as a lifeline, not a strategic decision.

At the end of the day, the only thing you can control is how you perceive and react to events around you. If we want to end corporate suffering once and for all we have to believe that we have the ability to change our situation and the business world for the better.

Hang on to your dreams. Believe it is possible. Why settle for the Great American Outline when the Great American Novel is within your reach?

Amanda Mitchell is an executive coach and strategist specializing in helping senior executives deal with disruptive drama within their teams. An advertising agency veteran, she experienced first-hand the business implications of corporate drama both with her Fortune 500 clients and within the Manhattan ad agency she led. She founded Our Corporate Life ( to help executives solve the problems no one wants to deal with. She has been published in Bloomberg Businessweek, and quoted in Fast Company,, and She lives in New Jersey with her family.

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