No matter how excellent you are in what you do, when you are tired, feeling low, and lacking self-care, you can slip into an auto-pilot and bad things can happen.
What to do when you feel that the tank is getting low?
1. Get out of your routine and walk around.
2. Ask for help and delegate.
3. Refuse to be involved in pity parties and complaints bureau.
4. Talk to a family member, friend, and a trusted advisor.
5. Call it a day and sleep.
6. Power down all tech gadgets and social media.
7. Journal your thoughts and write the best moments you want to cherish.
8. Exercise and breathe fresh air.
9. Watch a funny movie, listen to your favorite music, and play with a pet.
10. Enjoy silence and solitude.
Have peace in yourself and bounce back tomorrow.
The Fraser Canyon is beautiful and treacherous at the same time. It is not for new drivers as it is one of the oldest roads in B.C. Traversing this road takes skill, planning, and masterful execution to get through unscathed. It also takes familiarity with these roads to be able to set contingency measures along the way.
There are sharp turns, zigzags, and steep hills, and difficult narrow passes. It is important to stay awake, alert, and anticipatory of the next difficult move.
Taking sharp turns in management parlance has a different meaning. It means getting out of your normal situation (whatever that normal is) and taking risks to reinvent yourself, your organization, and your initiatives to take it to the next level, leaving behind anything that doesn't help you get there.
What are the signs saying that you need to take the next sharp turn? Traffic signs help you navigate difficult roads and alerting motorists of the potential dangers on the road. There are also signs that alert you that you are 'stuck' without you knowing:
1. People in the organization are defensive, conservative, and fearful of needful change;
2. People in the organization refuse to heed to environmental changes and trends that affect the business;
3. People are comfortable with the level of growth and do not want to 'rock' the boat that much;
4. Progress takes time and the next growth is such an uphill climb compared to when you are starting;
5. Deals run out, market shrinks, customers/clients stop buying for some reason;
6. The management is protective of earlier successes and cannot imagine a different future;
Some of these signs represent the truism that past success does not determine future performance.
Relaxing and cruising along is fine on a nice day in a nice road.
Do not do that when you are building your business or organization.
It's nice to reach a plateau.
You can have a break, walk around, smell the roses, enjoy the scenery, take some photos along the way, have a snack, and rest your legs after the long drive. But you can't stay too long.
All plateaus lead to a decline. While staying there increases pleasure and comfort, it doesn't allow you to reach new heights where you can experience a different level of accomplishment- the next summit.
Think about that in your organizational life and in your career trajectory.
You might be in a plateau too long to figure out you are running circles and not moving an inch to your destination.
While trudging along highways in Alberta all the way to the BC border, there are sections that are badly maintained and those that are kept good.
Apparently a local contractor that was assigned for many years to manage these roads was no longer awarded the contract, instead a subsidiary of a larger company took it on. A few miles from these bad roads are well-kept highway that have a different road maintainer.
Typical siloed work increases more stress and aggravation which leads to more work and waste of time, resources, and energies. They need to work together as an eco-system instead of partitioning work in a piece-meal fashion to contribute to the bigger picture- better infrastructure, better economic conditions, better quality of life for citizens across the province.
Think about the fourth impact of your actions, initiatives, and initial feedback. Then you are really thinking big.
A few strategies to move from survive to ALIVE:
1. Create a pipeline of diversified short-term, mid-term, long-term sources of business revenue.
2. Don't go hiding yet; let your brand shine when people hold back and stay behind the radar.
3. Impose upon yourself the attitude that this business slowdown will not last forever so concentrate on having the right efforts continuously.
4. Instead of hoarding your last monies until the kingdom comes, invest in critical areas that will have huge acceleration impact for your business.
5. Look for areas of inefficiencies and cost-saving in areas you don't normally look.
6. Look for creative ideas and insights in areas you don't normally consider trail-blazing or earth-moving but have the potential to have an ROI of 10:1 ratio or greater.
7. Despite best efforts, lean on to your family, friends, networks, supporters for psychological help and proper perspective you need.
8. Celebrate small successes than will get you momentum to aim higher for the next steps.
This too shall pass.
It is never about the economy.
If businesses and organizations blame the economy all the time, then other industries and enterprises will all die of lack of opportunities and high costs of operations.
There are organizations that flourish despite the recessionary times, lack of financial means of many families, and growing job insecurities.
It is not your funeral parlor or your recreation centres, either. These are thriving businesses whose operations continue to grow, their products and services are sort of inured with the interest rates, and their expansion is unhindered.
If you know of these organizations, you better ask and listen up. They have something that you are not having. They have made it a priority to not only survive and but also thrive.
The best practice is right there within your reach, within your group, sector, and industry. Learn from those that do good, not those that say, but not do.