I’m noticing two key issues right now.
I send this with an assumption that you have read the first passionate plea. Trusting that from the first passionate plea you are putting the greater good of the company first, you have reversed your accountability chart (if necessary), are staying disciplined, are remaining at your best and are facing the brutal facts of reality. Here they are.
The two key issues for even the ones that are doing well on all of the above are that most leaders are frozen, and they are not fighting.
I’ll expand on each, one at a time:
1. They are frozen means that people are stuck, uncertain, feeling isolated, and confused. If you can relate, I would prescribe four remedies immediately:
- Make a list of everything that is worrying you. I know that this might seem counterproductive, but just do it. When I meet with people who are wrestling with issues, the first thing I have them do is write out all of their concerns, fears and worries. As Dan Sullivan says, “All progress begins with telling the truth.” This exercise will literally change your brain function from “fight or flight” to “rational and logical” thinking. It’s powerful.
- Do something. You’ve got to create movement in some direction. The reason you have a problem, issue, or concern or are losing energy is simply that you have not made a decision. It is time to start making decisions. As the saying goes, “It’s more important that you decide than what you decide.” So decide!
- Have a plan. Your people are eager and want to know your plan. It is vital that you crystallize it and over-communicate it regularly. You owe it to them, and they need it. The number one difference I see between employees that are motivated and the ones that aren’t is that their leadership team has a plan.
- Stop wallowing in what you’ve lost. We have all lost things as of late, whether it’s property values, 401k values, net worth, money, or clients. The world has right-sized. Treat right now as the starting point. This is the first day of the rest of your life. Just simply go forward from here.
2. They are not fighting, which means that a lot of business leaders are being a little meek. I will lose a few friends with this one, but here it goes. I am noticing that people are a little spoiled. It’s been easy for the last 10 years. We have to get good at a little hand-to-hand combat. In sitting down with one of my clients that is experiencing massive growth in a very tough, competitive, and beat-up industry, he shared how he is winning. In the conversation he stated, “I realized that I have been fighting my whole life. It’s second nature for me.” Simply put, he is a good fighter.
Please don’t get me wrong: I am talking about a fair and good fight, but a fight nonetheless. Saying it another way, don’t leave any stone unturned. Make sure that you are maximizing, adding value, and taking good care of every client; that your sales and marketing are rock-solid and clearly solving a problem for people; that you are exhausting every option; and that you are staying laser-focused and everyone is doing the basics.
It is on us, the entrepreneurs and leaders, to provide the momentum. You can’t control the world economy, but you can control your own economy. Start with your family, your business, and your network, and be the positive force. Be the spark.
One last closing thought: I have a rare perspective working with 35 companies at any given time in southeast Michigan . In summary, what I see the great ones doing are the following seven things:
- They have a plan and are moving forward.
- They convey that plan to their employees often.
- They are staying realistic (not optimistic or pessimistic).
- They are right-sizing (reverse accountability chart).
- They are protecting cash flow/profitability.
- They are working twice as hard.
- They are fighting.
I hope this helps. Please don’t hesitate with questions, comments, or feedback.