As we begin the long process of safely opening up our country for business, many of my recent conversations have people asking what they should be doing. The answer of course is that no one actually knows. There is no playbook for what we are experiencing and no universal set of rules. I doubt anyone reading this lived through the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 so essentially, we are all making this up as we go.
The good news is that a lot of smart, intentional people have put together some guidelines on “how” we can get our businesses up and running. But again, the question I’m hearing the most is “What should I be doing right now?”
The best answer I’ve heard up this point is simple… BE READY!
At some point in the very near future you are going to get tapped on the shoulder and put back into the game. What that game looks like is anybody’s guess. One thing for certain is that it will not look at all like it did just a few months ago.
Of course, some things will be very similar. You will still have customers and clients that have needs you get to fulfill. But those needs may be very different, and their behaviors will adapt to their own new challenges just as ours have.
So what exactly does it mean to BE READY?
The first questions I would ask- What have you learned in the past few months?
We’ve all had a lot of time to take in new information, read books and articles, attend virtual trainings, listen to podcasts, and simply learn something new. How have you upped your skill level to adapt? What was the most valuable piece of information that you’ve absorbed and how can you apply this new skill to your business once you get back into the game?
Being a life-long learner means more now than it ever has before. Everything you’ve learned and how you’ve processed those lessons will better equip you for success in our new economy. More importantly your knowledge can prepare you to take advantage of the opportunities that always seem to present themselves during times of great change.
The next question- Do you have a plan?
Once you get tapped on the shoulder by your organization the first question is likely to be: What do you plan to do? If your answer is “I don’t know” then you aren’t ready.
Start thinking about your plan to reconnect and re-engage with your current customers and clients. Remember you aren’t going to make up for 2 months in only 2 days. Think about the challenges your customers are facing? How can you be empathetic to those needs? What can you offer that addresses those needs specifically?
Your plan doesn’t need to be perfect, and more than likely you will be forced to adapt or make a new plan. That’s ok, it’s part of the process. Remember the entire reason to have a plan isn’t so that things go perfectly. It’s to get you started and moving in the right direction. Having an imperfect plan is much better than no plan at all.
If you are a leader the question is- How do your plan to re-acclimate your team to all the new rules and regulations of simply coming into the workplace? What is your strategy to create a safe, and productive environment? What are the first initiatives you would like your team to focus? Remember again, we can’t make up for a few months in just a few days.
Right now, your teams are craving comfort and certainty so don’t over-whelm them with too much-too soon. Getting them engaged and focused on the “next steps” would be a great start.
Keep in mind, you don’t need to be a leader in title to lead and right now leadership matters.
Finally, how have you taken care of yourself?
The line between work and home have been muddled beyond all recognition. Video conferencing at all hours? Being supportive to your remote teams? And managing your own home life, whether you’ve been the substitute teacher for your kids, or you live alone you’ve had to navigate a whole new set of challenges.
Are you energized? Are you eating right? Are you getting up and moving around to get some form of exercise? Have you connected with people you care about outside the workplace consistently?
Being Ready means your battery is fully charged, so if you aren’t where you need to be, mentally, physically, and emotionally, get there!
As the economy starts waking up from hibernation, it’s more important now than ever that you are wide awake as well. Whatever the new challenges you and your business face in the coming weeks and months the best thing you CAN do right now is BE READY!
Please post a response to share with all of us how you are getting ready to BE READY
Cheers to your level of readiness
Once Quarter Turn at a Time
Thoughts for the week:
I’m always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught. –Winston Churchill
I stay ready so I don’t have to get ready. –Conner McGregor
Luck is being ready for the chance. -J. Frank Dobie
Don’t wait until you are ready to take action. Instead take action to be ready. –Jenson Siaw
There is a difference wishing for a thing and being ready to receive it. –Napoleon Hill