What Works in Times of Crises?
What works in times of crisis? The same things that work best when things are going well …. clarity on how you should spend your time. Let me share some thoughts I hope can help paint a clear picture on how to spend your time and catch yourself when you are off track.
In 1991, I read Steven Covey’s book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” and the very first habit is “Be Proactive”. I had gotten separated from my wife and moved from NY to Charlotte, NC. I was confident, but my intensity and anxiety got in the way. I also lacked a process to stay on course. My professional life and personal life started to change after reading his book and applying many of the habits into my daily and weekly routine.
BE PROACTIVE … this is Habit #1 and in Covey terms it simply means spend your time and thinking on the items that you can “influence”, as opposed to the things that are merely “concerns”. Two weeks ago, we closed our business. We are not backed by a bank or large investor. Notwithstanding all of my concerns, we galvanized our team, time and effort to take our product and deliver a first-rate experience online. This is one example of how a business may rally. Our bills are massive and our team relies on my leadership …. daunting concerns .… but our One River community has come together.
I am so grateful that our customers are pulling for us and showing support. My staff is special and working around the clock to restart our business. We are going to withstand this crisis and be better for it. But, One River is just a part of my life…it’s my professional mission, but like all of us, I worry about the world, my family and friends, the noise in the air and the uncertainty. It is normal to have these concerns…I try to modulate the time I spend worrying.
Here is the assignment I gave my 22-year-old son Jason whose senior year of college ended abruptly as the world collapsed on him and everyone planning to start their career. Try this.
Make three lists of goals that you would like to achieve by the end of April:
Personal, Professional and Health / Well Being. Cut your lists down to three goals in each area, figure out the steps to achieve your goal and go to work. Make sure the goals are measurable and attainable. Pause periodically to catch yourself worrying…reset and get going again.
Share your stories / goals and I will provide thoughts that can help you. On May 1st I will share your stories and mine.
Be Proactive. Stay in the Circle of Influence over the Circle of Concern.