Posted by Mike Foster: You may not want to read this post. It is on the depressing side. But trust me, it is a big reason why I think the discussion of grace and failure are so important.

When I wrote Gracenomics I had an overarching premise that drove my thinking.

That premise was simply this:

We have just experienced a "decade of deception" and now are entering into a "decade of disappointment." Here is what I mean...


1. We actually believed we could own things we could not afford.

2. We believed we were safe and insulated from terrorists and outside threats. (9/11)

3. If you work hard then your job is secure and a nice pension will be waiting for you.

4. House prices will always go up in value.

5. You could trust politicians about the reasons for going to war. (Iraq and WMDs)

6. If you get a college education you will have a well paying job waiting for you.

7. The government could always bail us out if we got into real trouble. It can't.

8. Financial institutions were secure and had proper oversight. Nope.

9. Religious institutions were a symbol of integrity and purity. The Catholic Church sex abuse epidemic and church pastor scandals has completely unhinged that idea.

I could go on but I won't. This is already a bit depressing.

These are the lies that have been exposed on a massive public scale. These things we thought were true are no longer valid beliefs. We had been living in the decade of deception.

But that was the last 10 years. Now let's talk about the next 10.


Because we have gone through a decade of deception and entering a decade of disappointment, we will face new dynamics.

This will impact your organization. Your leadership. Your lifestyle. Let me list a few thoughts:

1. The jobs shipped overseas are not coming back. The 4G iPhone costs $6.54 to make in China. It would cost 10 times as much to make in the US.

2. People will want to numb their hurt and seek to escape. They will do this through addictions, overeating, drugs or other destructive habits.

3. You must talk openly in your corporate culture about weakness and failure. This is a theme of life and culture now. So make it an ongoing theme of your company too.

4. People won't believe or accept the hype, spin and cliches anymore. Public communications and marketing will change.

5. The core of a person's identity(mostly found in their successes) has been challenged. It will be important to help people navigate this core identity crisis.

6. Leaders must ooze character and integrity. I believe this will be the defining trait of whether people follow or not. Competence and charisma are overrated.

7. Churches that give simplistic answers to someone's real problems aren't relevant anymore. People won't put up with that crap anymore. Prosperity gospel? Seriously, hows that working these days?

8. We all need to get a lot more comfortable with smaller, lesser and slower. Raises, bonuses, stock performance and growth curves will be different now.

9. A reset and realignment of expectations for an entire generation of 70 million Millenials. What happens when you are promised one thing all your life and now realize it isn't true?

10. Fast cash, instant millionaires or get rich quick Bernie Madoff schemes are now looked at differently. People are now more skeptical and less trusting. Also, what little money people have, they are holding it tight.

11. I believe people will become self focused and concerned about their own struggle. Motivating them to care about an injustice, poverty or need 5000 miles away will become more difficult.

12. People will project their pain on others. It's very human to do so. Don't be surprised if you become a target.

13. Dissatisfaction leads to the polarization of groups, vicious attacks on others and people's anger being expressed in unhealthy ways. Just look at today's politics for proof.

14. Many will want to quit, give up and stop dreaming about a better tomorrow.

And one more final depressing nugget.

The news reports the US unemployment rate is at 9%. In reality it is more like 17% when you include those who have given up looking for work or those who are underemployed. The underemployed is the guy who has a PHD, who 2 years ago was pulling down $200k a year and is now having to work at Wal Mart for 9 bucks an hour.

People are scared. Worlds have fallen apart. Caution is in the air. And we are entering into a decade of managing massive disappointments in our lives.

It won't be easy and I don't mean to bum you out with this post. We all need to work hard to discover answers to these hard truths.

I think this next 10 years can be an incredible opportunity to help individuals.

I guess this is why POTSC is here. These are the conversations that we must have.

Grace isn't just a nice is the answer for the next decade of living.

Mike Foster