REALITY CHECK – A PERFECT STORM OR A PERFECT OPPORTUNITY?
Only read this if you the right person, if not hand in your resignation, a new strategy can only work if the organization has the right people
2016 has undoubtedly started with a number of difficulties and challenges both in terms of a quicker decline in business traffic which ultimately would have the result in exposing certain vulnerabilities relative to the growth of our new businesses that are being developed and our existing businesses.
It must be remembered that we always anticipated a decline hence the reason why we commenced the development of additional business units to generate new revenue in line with a developing digital economy and commenced our journey to look for investments.
Whilst the decline has been somewhat quicker than anticipated, we also need to understand that we are also facing external factors which are also lining themselves up to be the proverbial “perfect storm”.
Whilst we do not have direct control over the external factors, we certainly must take a hard look at our internal factors and have a reality check on what we are capable of doing in the short, medium and long term.
The company has been through a number of different challenges over its many years of existence, some of you have been exposed to these, and others have not. Winston Churchill once said never let the opportunity of a good crises pass us by.
I have been exposed to all of them and on each occasion it is incumbent upon us as leaders to ensure that we find a way through the challenges and rise above the difficulties so that we can strengthen the business.
There is a very interesting quote from the book “Leadership Dubai Style : The Habits To Achieve Remarkable Success” which I think is very relevant at this stage of our history:
“NEVER WASTE A CRISIS” ….. “WHAT YOU SHOULD DO IN A TIME OF CRISIS: STAY FOCUSSED ON THE FUTURE AND MOVE FORWARD. A CRISIS ISN’T THE TIME TO STOP; IT’S THE TIME TO WORK EVEN HARDER. FRANKLY, A CRISIS IS YOUR REAL OPPORTUNITY FOR SUCCESS, BECAUSE WHAT YOU DO AT THE LOW POINTS WILL DETERMINE YOUR FUTURE TRAJECTORY.”
“TIMES OF CRISIS TEST YOUR COURAGE AND COMMITMENT. DURING A CRISIS YOU EITHER STAY FOCUSSED AND GET STRONGER OR SIT ON THE SIDELINES AND WAIT. NEVER WASTE A GOOD CRISIS. IT PROVIDES YOU WITH THE PLATFORM TO GET THINGS DONE THAT WERE REQUIRED ANYWAY, AND OFFERS A SENSE OF URGENCY TO ACCELERATE THE IMPLEMENTATION.”
I believe that were are precisely at that point where not only do we face certain challenges internally, but need to deal with these simultaneously with external crises that the world at large is facing.
I do believe that each and every one of us has the capacity to deal with this succinctly, professionally and with commitment to ensure that we develop a stronger and more sustainable and resilient business.
We have developed a number of different pillars which we now refer to as the “6 Pillar Strategy” and to the extent that we remain committed to these pillars, I believe that the time has now come for us to put aside the aspects that are constituting “the perfect storm” and focus on achieving the objectives of each of these 6 pillars. The time is for us to now put aside all the negative facets of dealing with the perfect storm and to stand up and to put our shoulder to the wheel and focus on achieving our objectives to build a stronger and more resilient business.
In doing this, it is incumbent upon each and every one of us individually and collectively to take a hard look at ourselves and to dig deep and find the courage, strength and resilience to move forward positively.
When hard times hit and the challenges you face are great, you can let your situation define you, let it destroy you, or let it strengthen you. The choice is yours to make.
You can only learn how strong you are when being strong is the only choice you have. My call on this is that: the only choice we have is to be strong.
It’s all about how we carry ourselves when things don’t go our way that matters. I want to offer you some important considerations to consider during these challenging times which I believe need careful consideration.
MINDSET IS HALF THE BATTLE
It is okay to have down days AND TOUGH TIMES. Expecting life to be wonderful all the time is wanting to swim in an ocean in which waves only rise up and never come crashing down. However, when you recognize that the rising and crashing waves are part of the exact same ocean, you are able to let go and be at peace with the reality of those ups and downs. It becomes clear that life’s ups require life’s downs.
FEAR IS IN THE MIND
Although fear can feel overwhelming and defeats more people than any other force in the world, it’s not as powerful as it seems. Fear is only as deep as your mind allows. YOU ARE STILL IN CONTROL. SO TAKE CONTROL!
YOU CAN BEAT FEAR
Be courageous! And remember that courage doesn’t mean you don’t get afraid, courage means you don’t let fear stop you from moving forward. We are going to be moving forward because we understand what we need to do, individually as an executive team and as a company.
Experience is what you get when your plans don’t go as planned, and experience is the most valuable commodity you own – it builds your strength.
YOU CAN’T CHANGE SITUATIONS YOU DON’T TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR
Sigmund Freud once said: “Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility.”
Don’t let this be you or us collectively. When you blame others for what you are going through, you deny responsibility – you surrender power over that part of your life.
THE PRESENT IS ALL YOU REALLY HAVE TO DEAL WITH
Life is not lived in some distant, imagined land of some day where everything is perfect. It is lived here and now, with the reality of the way things are, with the difficulties that we face, with the challenges that we have to overcome.
It is important that we all work towards a vision (6 Pillars) and towards an idealized tomorrow. Yet to do so, we must successfully deal with the world as it is today and the difficulties and challenges that we face as a company today.
The present dictates we remain calm, become more focused, work as a strong cohesive team and reflect a calmness and positive demeanour to staff. We need to focus on executing the 6 Pillars with speed, focus and professionalism.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE
You only have to read the newspapers, watch television (CNN, Sky News, CNBC), see what’s happening at Davos in Switzerland, to realize that hard times are all around us and we are not alone. In the midst of hard times, it’s easy to look around and see a bunch of people who seem to be doing well. But in reality they’re not. All of us are struggling in our own particular way and it is important that we understand that it is a reality that we are all facing and need to overcome.
As I have mentioned before, we do not have direct control over external factors, be they political, economic or climate, but we do have the capacity to take control of internal factors and work as hard as we can to overcome these challenges, both individually and collectively.
Our responsibility, as individuals, as leaders, is to make sure that this philosophy transcends throughout the company, particularly through these difficult and challenging times.