greetings. We hope this holiday season is healthy and fulfilling
for you, your family, and your business.
Hidden Gifts in this Recession
Well, the news has
arrived. Our government stated this week that we are officially
in a recession. Most of us knew that. So, given the fact that
the economy is in a recession -- and one that might last for
a long time -- what we do in the meantime? Are there effective
ways to use this time constructively? I think so.
This reminds me of
the story of the father who gave each his two young sons different
Christmas gifts. One received a special gift he had been wanting
for some time, and was delighted to have received it. The
other one found a pile of manure outside in the yard. He immediately
began excitedly digging with a shovel. His brother asked why
he was so excited the brother digging said, I know there
is a pony in there somewhere!
The point? It s about
our attitude. And, for us, there are some ponies in having
this time when business activity is slower and our lives are
spinning a little less frantically. Recession starts with
the letter R . Let's look at 7 areas of our lives that start
with the same letter and see if they don't help us (both as
individuals and organizations) figure out how to make best
use of this time.
vs. React During times of stress, it is very easy
to become reactive and develop a bunker mentality. In those
times we pull back, cut our costs, keep our powder dry, and
try to hold on until the storm passes. While there is some
wisdom in not squandering resources, it's probably a mistake
to not seize the opportunities which are also present during
times like this. So, adopting a responsive mindset and utilizing
the full range of your mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual
skills is probably a better strategy. So, take a centering
breath before reacting to things that happen in your environment.
In general, keep breathing through this difficult time.
2. Relax &
Renew One obvious use of what we might call down
time would be to take better care of ourselves. Using some
of this time for constructive relaxation might give us a chance
to bring our lives back into balance. Take a few more walks,
get home from work a little earlier, spend more time in your
personal exercise program. Watch more closely what you eat.
If you can renew your personal energy reservoir during this
time, that will help you get through the emotional stresses
Purposefully carve out time to reflect back. RE:
some of life's major questions: Who am I? Why am I here? What
is it that I want to accomplish in this space of my short
life? Who is most important to me in my life? Do I have the
kind of relationships I truly want? If I had one year left
to live, how would I live my life differently? RE: from a
work standpoint: how is my career progressing against my aspirations?
Are the things I want to do and places I want to go for which
I need to be better prepared? Am I passionate about what I
am doing? What would bring me more fulfillment if I were to
do something else? What are the special gifts that I have?
Am I able to fully utilize those gifts today?
If you are going to have more time on your hands,
who in my family can I deepen my connection with? Who have
I missed connecting with because I have been so busy? Am I
deeply connected with myself? How can I deepen that connection?
Am I clearly connected to the mission of our business? Am
I connected to the team around me? What can I do to create
more connection to things and people that really matter to
Re-vision, Re-strategize & Re-plan
The opportunity is clearly to revisit your purpose and goals
(personal and business) and recast them in light of current
challenges. Everyone affected by this recession is finding
ways to not only survive the downturn, but come out on the
other end more capable and ready for what appears to be a
new world order. It seems that everything is changing customers
and their business, your competitors and their skills, your
workforce and their talents, and communities and their needs.
To the vital and sustainable one year from now, you and your
organization will likely to have transformed itself in some
very significant ways. Engage others in this process as well
to tap everyone s best thinking.
& Re-engineer During slack times, the most
progressive and successful organizations continue to do the
work of building capacity of their leaders and teams. Now
is not the time to stop or reduce development programs that
focus on building crucial capabilities of the organization.
Instead, strengthen your commitment to acquire and develop
all the leadership and team performance skills you possibly
can for the future. You will certainly need them in the new,
even more competitive environment we all will face.
7. Re-energize & Re-focus
Given that a new vision, strategy and plan have
been created, it will become critical for you and your team
to renew your spirit, energy and passion to bring to work.
One of the most critical determinants of organizational success
is the collective energy it creates in service of its mission
to serve the customers of the business. The opportunity is
now to focus on your vision of the future. Your collective
new vision for the future is the single thing that will provide
inspiration and hope for the days ahead. It looks like many
things are going to be a very different, but that doesn't
make them bad. We just need to get ready (another R word).
And remember there
is a pony in there somewhere!