You are not alone Business Leaders
Let’s address the Elephant in the room, you and my business could fail if we do not act with purpose.
One thing the world is doing is looking for government’s and banks to bail them out. In Africa, we know that could take longer than we have time for so what next.
There are several things you need to do all at the same time. Multi-tasking is what is required and the name of the game, I am told that men are not good at that so men we have to stretch a little more. Of course, I personally don’t believe that and mastery of multi-tasking is a true CEO skill that is not optional male or female.
I’m going to share with you the mental picture and on my screen an image of a Slatted wine barrel
I’m not 100% sure of exactly where this mental picture came from but it was certainly not my unique idea but I found this an incredible analogy of what a business leader or owner has to do in a time of crisis and also during times of prosperity to keep advancing business and sustaining its options for the future.
My Secret Coaches
I’m going to give credit to one of my not any more secret coaches AKA number #8. Daniel Tschudy
When the global financial crisis of 2008/9 hit the world our contracted revenue plummeted from upwards of 100 million to about 30 million in one swift and dramatic drop.
Similar if not worse revenue drops are happening right now with travel bans and restrictions due to the COVID-19 virus.
Quite honestly, I was near suicidal and joked with my then SA MD – Huw Tuckett about being worth more dead than alive and should I just jump off the building. These were the extent of the negative and paralyzing thoughts that gripped my mind.
If you anywhere near that or just feel overwhelmed and mentally stressed to the extent that your fear is paralyzing, you from being vaguely productive. You must do something asap.
I reached out to a friend who I knew had managed a similar sized and successful business in the MICE industry. Asked Daniel to coach me through this incredibly tough time.
I had used coaches before but they were discipline-specific – like finance, technology etc.
The illustration is the diagram of a barrel the slatted wine barrel types made in the traditional way. Each slat of the barrel represents a key business focus point or discipline that when correctly made and all lengths of the barrel slats are the same length holds maximum value or quantity of quality wine.
It only holds the level to the lowest slat or the weakest link in the chain.
A global crisis like this lowers the revenue slat to almost zero and all the good wine or value in the barrel or business starts to pour out at a rapid rate.
The dear in the headlight reaction is you get such a shock, there is disbelief and such an intense focus on either the thing causing it, in this case, COVID or the how-to-fix it all else goes for a ball and every other slat starts collapsing and lowering its levels.
If one of the barrel slats were lest say half-length the max you could fill that barrel would be half its true capacity. As when filled the max you could fill it would be to the 50% level before the wine started pouring out.
Now the reality is that even the best-run business in the world even in economically prosperous times bleeds out some value in some area of the business. This is because of course like human being organisations are living breathing organisations made up of human beings who don’t always show up with their A-game every single day.
Economic Crisis & Leaders
In economic crisis times, it is ever easy for a company and its people to drop their heads and wake up every day with a bad hair doo and attitude come to work and totally lose sight of the need to give of their best to customers and teams in order to survive.
This condition usually happens to the leader first, as this is the person on whose shoulders rests the maximum pressure to make things right. That pressure is enough to break the strongest of leaders and business owners.
I do love all the inappropriate but totally necessary COVID-19 humour that is going around on social media, it’s important to laugh at times like these at ourselves and the situation. It brings quick relief from the fear but it is not enough we need practical advice on how to take little steps every day to keep advancing our business, project or team.
Back to the Barrell – What you need to focus on:
Products / Services
Why do I share these Practical Insights?
I want to share with you not because I am smarter than the rest of you, I’m not. I don’t have an MBA haven’t got a book to sell you and certainly have no business model to profit from this. My real motivation is to share, encourage and pay it forward for the many people that have and continue to help me every step of the way.
Leadership is a space that can be lonely at times, but I believe really good leaders know that to be good and remain good they know it’s not at all an individual sport.
You are not alone and should never be. Surround yourself with the best paid for a team you can, then go even further than that and seek out and identify a volunteer team who you can network with, bounce ideas off, copy good habits from, take advice from, pray with, celebrate with and equally share your own wisdom, time and energy with.
I’m going to share openly with you some key people who I have chatted to before this call and asked if they would also be available to you should you need help.
Also, some key resources that I find useful
- The Bible – especially John 3, 16 and Psalm 23 – The Lord is my Shepard
- Cameron Herald Back pocket COO – Double Double
- Ken Blanchard – Servant leadership
- Ken Blanchard – Leading at a higher level
- Debt Relief Fund for Businesses
Make sure you deal with each slat every day trying to raise the bar on each aspect.
Don’t let your ego get in the way of asking for help.
Hold your self accountable to someone. Who asks you every day about what you did today about each slat on the barrel.
Keep Working it