So we’ve opened up the country and as expected some regions and states appear to be doing better than others. I’ve read that the current Covid situation less like a second wave but more like a forest fire that continues to flare up and simply refuses to be put out. All indications lead to the obvious conclusion that this is something that we are get to learn to live with for quite some time.
The question I’m hearing the most these days is a simple one, without a simple answer… Now what?
Everyone seems to be looking for some specific or certain answer in a world that right now is providing very few certainties. In thinking about the end of what experts are referring to as “the lost quarter” and entering the 3rd and 4th quarters of 2020, many are wondering how we begin the process of ensuring that 2020 doesn’t become “the lost year”
To address this, I’ve come up with a quick list to get you started on the long road back to business. Time to re-ignite those goals you so meticulously constructed back in December and January and set your sights on your goals for the next 6 months.
- Focus on what you can control
One of the biggest reasons we get can distracted or de-energized is by focusing on things that we have no say over the outcomes. For example- we have no control over the whether someone chooses to wear a mask in public places or not. We do have control over our own choice, and how we will handle those that make different choices. In our businesses we get to continue to focus on those tasks and behaviors that create value for our teams and our customers. Those are the things we can control and that will usually gain us the best results.
Ask yourself- where are you focusing on things you have not control, and what is the impact of that decision?
- What is Certain vs What is Uncertain
People are craving certainty right now, so stop wasting time on what’s uncertain and get your team and clients focusing on what we know and what is certain. Example- There are many companies out there doing a lot of business and many potential clients and customers waiting to make decisions. What’s certain is that believe it or not, the economy is doing pretty well. Interest rates are low. For the moment we are controlling the unfettered spread of a horrible virus. 6 months from now, none of these things are guaranteed, so what are you waiting for?
- Have a plan.
Right now, as mentioned earlier people are looking for direction so having a plan is as good a place to start than ever. Remember you do not create a plan so things go perfectly, you create a plan to have a starting and ending point. We all had plans at the beginning of the year, many plans got tossed aside in March. Our overall plan and our goals and destinations are probably still the same. How we decide to get there is part of the new plan.
Start by answering these questions
Where are we now? Where do we want to be in X# of months? What will it take to get us there? How will we measure success?
- Re-Commit to your Brand
Mark Cuban said early on in the pandemic that the way organizations show up during this crisis will define their brands for the next 20 years. If you’ve worked with me before you know the importance I stress on PERSONAL BRAND as well. How have you shown up over the past 3 months? What did you do well? What would you do differently? What did you learn? And most importantly did you stay true to your personal brand during the process? Our brand is our guide, not when times are going perfectly, but when things aren’t going the way we would have liked them to. Time to double down on your Brand.
- Avoid the Noise
Look, there is a lot of going on out there in the world these days. This is not about ignoring reality but rather understanding that there are a lot of distractions out there competing for your time, energy and attention. Right now your business, your life and your relationships need that time and attention as well. Be careful about getting sucked into all the noise. We also have an election coming up so prepare to be bombarded by even more noise from every media outlet, social channel and talking head. This isn’t about what side of the aisle you fall onto, it’s about shielding yourself from things that add absolutely no value to what you do or how you do it.
- Take Care of Yourself
The journey back in your business and for your life plans is going to be a challenging one. If you aren’t where you need to be, mentally, physically, emotionally, financially, it’s going to be difficult for you to be the best you can be for your teams, your organization and your family. This isn’t about being selfish, but rather ensuring that your energy levels are where they need to be so you can give the best of yourself to those that you claim to care about. As they say on the aircraft- put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others.
- Relationships Matter Now More than Ever
Those relationships you have built up over the course of your lifetime both professional and personal are going to be the most valuable asset you have during the coming months. Who can you count on? Who will answer your calls when you need them to? You’ve seen how fickle and fragile some relationships you have built became over the past few months. I bet you’ve found out where your strongest relationships are as well. Make sure you are connecting with them on a frequent basis.
- Your Skill Level Is What Separates You.
I’ve been saying this for years, and now would be a great time to have it sink in. When the economy is cranking, and everyone is doing great business, it’s easy to hide those under-performers in any organization. Now there is no room for people in your organization that simply can’t do their jobs. Your skill level and knowledge of your industry is what will separate you from the rest of the field as we begin the process of reigniting our businesses. You’ve probably taken some time over the past few months to up your skill level, learn new things, and maybe even take a good hard look at what you do and how you do it. That’s what we refer to as being a lifelong learner. Remember no one cares about leadership when you are winning. Now is the time a true leader shows up and shows up in a big way. And one last thing- you do not need a title or big office to be a leader. Lead from the chair you occupy.
So that’s an answer to “Now What”
I hope you found value in these little Quarter Turns. Some of them you’ve heard many times before. Just remember, there is no right or wrong during the coming months and I haven’t found the Universal Playbook for how to come back from what we’ve all just went through and are still going through. Like all of you, I’m figuring it out as I go.
If you like this article please share it with others and if you have anything to add please share them as most of my good ideas come from smart people like you that are willing to spread your knowledge and lessons learned so all of us can benefit.
Cheers to your growth, your success, and most of all your good health.
One Quarter Turn at a Time
Thoughts for the week:
Life changes when you least expect it to. The Future is uncertain. So, seize the day, seize this moment, and make the most of it. -Jim Valvano
Embrace the uncertainty. Some of the most beautiful chapters in our lives won’t have a title until much later. – Bob Goff
Your Future is created by what you do today not tomorrow. -Robert Kiyosaki
Looking forward to our next connection