Is your company in “distress?”
Are you facing what appears to be a less than profitable future?
Several weeks ago I received an email from one of my newest Energy Tip readers. He said he had never seen an article on the subject of leadership for a distressed company. His question was, “How does one lead when there appears to be only 40 years worth of desert ahead?
Candidly, my first thought was the Biblical story of Moses who led the people of Israel out of Egypt. Moses was a guy who was in charge of thousands of people, who spent most of their time complaining. Their ultimate goal was to reach the Promise Land, which by the way was an eleven day journey across the desert from Egypt. That eleven day journey took them forty years! Remind you of any companies you know? What a massive waste of time and energy.
Energy Performance Tip
Visualizing barriers seems to be much easier than visualizing possibilities, not only in the day of Moses but also in present time. The problem with visualizing barriers is that it wastes energy and results in low performers. Our energy is designed to do one thing – to fuel whatever we choose to focus on. If we elect to focus on negativity that’s what gets fueled! And, the more we focus on negativity the bigger it becomes. Also, when energy is used for negativity it negates any possibility of creating positive outcomes – for instance profit! Can’t make both of these happen at the same time.
Recently Fortune Magazine stated this fact in one of their articles. The article said, “That 87% of employees say working with a low performer has decreased their productivity, hampered their development, and make them want to change jobs.”
What creates low performers? I suggest that it’s poor energy management by leaders and employees. In the case of our friend Moses, his first mistake was trying to do it all by himself. It took him years of wandering in the desert to understand he was not alone on this journey. One result of his leading alone was a very frustrated group of people who spent most of their time waiting on him to do something for them – Big waste of energy!
“If we are intended for great ends, we are called to great hazards.” - John Henry Cardinal Newman
Energy Development Tip
In the next few Energy Tips I’d like to make some suggestions for leaders facing distressing markets or who need to re-energize their people.
• Think inside the box before thinking outside the box – One of the companies I coach and consult were working on change strategies. The challenge was “To think outside the box.” The CEO emailed me and said, “I would suggest they start with thinking about what they need to do inside the box before they start thinking outside of it.” Change comes from the inside out, not the outside in. Clean up what you can within the box!
• Accept the worst things that can happen – Make a list of the worst things that can happen. Most often the consequences of the worst thing will not be near as bad as you think. It’s those undefined consequences that cause us the most worry. If it doesn’t work you always have the option to start over.
• Don’t quit, you’re closer than you think – An old Chinese proverb states, “The temptation to quit will be greatest just before you are about to succeed.” In football the toughest place is the “red zone,” just a few yards before a touchdown. Most people quit right before they reach the goal.
• Never give up – If it were easy everyone would be making millions of dollars and sunbathing on the beach of some tropical island. Because it’s not working doesn’t mean it won’t work. As you stick with it you may find a better way to succeeding.
• Expect to be out of your comfort zone 80% of the time – Regrettably our society wants things to come easy. As my southern friend says, “We only succeed when we grab the bull by the horns.”
“Progress always involves risks. You can’t steal second base and keep your foot on first.” -Frederick B. Wilcox
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