Were You Right or Were You Wrong?

More and more people are becoming affected from Covid-19. If you or anyone in your immediate universe has been a victim of the pandemic, my sincere wishes that you’ve come through this ok. If you are related to someone who did not survive this infection, my heart goes out to you. I’m terribly, terribly sorry.

If you’ve lost your job or your business is closed or struggling, I feel your pain. I know it’s hard, but keep your chin up. It’s easy to fall into the trap of feeling lonely, depressed or being a failure.

You’re reading this post because you’re successful even if you’re not being rewarded as such right now. Success, as you define it, will come again. Continue to persist. Everyone gets brought down to their knees at one time or another. Stay strong.

Six months ago when this crisis started, I asked you: “What are some permanent changes you can anticipate affecting your business or industry coming from a mostly “safer-at-home” restricted economy”?

Looking at it now, how right or wrong were you?

  • Did you expect such a lighting-fast transition to a digital world?
  • What about how you use your time today vs. this time last year?
  • Are you and your employees more productive working from home?
  • Are you re-engineering your supply chain?
  • Have your customers abandoned you for alternatives?
  • Are you building footholds in new industries?
  • Have you completely changed a strategy?

I read a statistic a couple of weeks ago: 70% of employees surveyed said they would look for another job rather than be required to report to the office on a daily basis. Could you imagine that 7 months ago?

Regardless of your business status, one thing hasn’t changed over the past 6 months – uncertainty of what tomorrow will bring. But there is one truth in business: Without risk won’t come the rewards. We can’t let uncertainty get in the way of taking calculated chances to find new customers, create new products and find ways to provide new solutions to customers.

I hope you have a plan that goes out more than the next couple of weeks to address today’s new realities and required strategy modifications. Your long-term vision doesn’t change, but how you move closer to achieving it probably should. Make better decisions and improve the performance of your business regardless of the economic circumstances by having a plan.

On a tangent note, sentiments I’m now hearing from a number of people concern symptoms of burnout from lack of time off. I’m not hearing this so much from business owners or CEOs per se, but from employees. Give your people time off to recharge. Force them to take the time off, if you have to. No computers or phones. Don’t make the mistake and think it’s not happening at your company. You, your customers and your employees will benefit.

Finally, hope is not a strategy. But it is a motivator toward bigger and better. Let yourself believe in hope and follow it up with strategy designed to keep inching closer to your long term vision. Well designed and executed plans adapt with changing circumstances. It took too long for American business to recover from 2008. Let’s learn from that experience to plan your future, make better decisions, prioritize and execute well.

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Brian Oken has helped dozens of business owners and CEOs become better leaders, build more effective teams and grow bottom-line profits.

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