Henry Ford once said: “Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t – you’re right.”
In the 1930s this was true and it’s true again now. The laziest and riskiest thing for business owners and their teams to do now is to “hunker down” and try to spin out their cash (or loans) until better times – without knowing when those imagined “better times” will arrive.
The victims of this approach are always the employees who put their faith in the Directors of the business to anticipate, plan and prepare for such eventualities. They are often the last to know that the company is in trouble and frequently find themselves out of a “secure” job and utterly lost in a sea of jobseekers that haven’t written a CV or attended an interview in decades.
In better times, the enemy is the comfort zone. A place of complacency and lazy thinking. Often built on the foundations of lucky sales to too few clients and too many eggs in those fragile baskets. Over 15 years leading turn-arounds in companies I’ve seen many multi-billion turnover companies with as much as 80% of revenue tied to one client – and often 80% of revenue across half a dozen or fewer main clients. These same companies never grasped the basics of marketing or sales and quickly deteriorate when the market changes (it always does).
So how can business leaders and their teams thrive during the post-lockdown future in the UK and abroad? The same as they always do. Follow and act upon the time-proven, generalised principles that we teach at ActionCOACH. Here are a couple:
Growing or Dying: Everything is growing or dying (yes even rocks if you watch closely enough for long enough). If your business isn’t growing – guess what…
Identity Iceberg: RESULTS come from actions and decisions guided by your behaviour. Your behaviour comes from skills, beliefs, values and identity. These last 4 are beneath the surface and hugely affected by ENVIRONMENT. When the ENVIRONMENT changes significantly – your identity, values, beliefs and skills need to be shored up to counter this massive influence. If you don’t do that, you’re going to behave, decide and act in a way that negatively affects your results.
Be x Do=Have: If you want to HAVE more sales you have to DO what great sales people do and BE-lieve that you are going to reap the rewards of that work. If you think “there’s no point. No-one is buying anything” that’s what you’ll get.
I’ll add another (because I’m an Engineer); entropy. In simple terms (my version anyway) is that energy degrades down to static – it explains the losses in energy that thermodynamics says can’t happen (Energy is neither created nor destroyed). In practice this means that you have to constantly fight the degradation of anything that exists. In ActionCOACH we often use “Gravity” as a simpler analogy. As you get older it’s more apparent than in the prime of youth.
So when your local ActionCOACH comes into your life and offers to show you The Greatest Business Secret In the World (The 5 Ways) it’s rather like someone passing a ladder down into the abyss to help you get out.
Top tip: you can’t get on the ladder with your arms folded defensively across your frightened form. Equally, if you are afraid to take the first step because you’re mind is closed by FEAR and cynicism you’re going to stay in the cold, dark place whilst others are up on top, enjoying the sun. It’s a choice (or rather actions, decisions and behaviours).
We become the average of the 5 people we spend most of our time with.
Do yourself a favour; make one of them an ActionCOACH.