It was the fall of 1995. A United States aircraft carrier was cruising off the coast of Newfoundland when the radio operator notified the bridge of a rapidly approaching vessel. The Captain immediately got on the radio and requested the Canadian vessel to divert it’s course 5 degrees to the south to avoid a collision.
To this, the Canadian radio operator requested the U.S. carrier to divert it’s course 15 degrees to the south to evade the collision. This went back and forth until the Captain of the U.S. aircraft carrier, rather indignantly responded, “This is the aircraft carrier USS Coral Sea. We are a large warship of the U.S. Navy. Divert you course immediately. To this the Canadian radio operator replied, “This is a lighthouse. Your call!”
Ouch! This chronicle aptly describes the life-altering phenomenon known only too well as a stable of the 21st Century — change. Known for striking angst in the hearts of even the most fearless, change is constant. And, if there was ever a time to be cognizant of what's to come...it is NOW!
It appears the long-held rumor of a pending economic slowdown for 2019 - 2020 is true. Global economist and one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World, Dr. Dambisa Moyo, attributes it to "growing inequality, a workforce ill-adapted to rapid technological change, political instability and a massive debt burden on governments, corporations and individuals."
How will you prepare yourself and your business to withstand the inevitable and achieve your strategic business goals? Unlike the economic upheaval we experienced in 2008, let's consider ourselves informed and act now to implement strategies to strengthen our business.
Change is an expected part of business. By expecting, embracing, and preparing for it, you lessen stress, minimize resistance, and make solid progress. In the meantime, use these fundamentals as anchors to aide you in staying on course.
- Beliefs. Know that which is true about your staff, your self, success, your earning aptitude, and your growth capacity to hold on to your uniqueness during stormy times. And, most importantly, own what you know. Question yourself less.
- Vision. A vision that is crystal clear — easily stated in one sentence — is inspiring to attain. Minus the 'one sentence rule,' head back to the drawing board for further clarification. Feel free to snag this little gem if you don't want to go it alone: The Small Business Vision: Why it Matters More Than (Fill in the Blank.)
- Mission. Your mission is the reason you're in business. It answers the question "
what do we do." This is especially valuable for those of us who work in isolation in our bunny slippers. Mission reminds us of what's important as we stare into our cup of joe.
- Values. The cornerstone upon which your business is made up of your key values. They play a powerful and influential role. And, when used to your advantage, values make your business more enjoyable and successful.
- Gifts and talents. The genius of you and your staff is making the most of every opportunity and challenge through your best assets. The use of these one-of-a-kind combination of strengths and genius makes your business incomparable.
- Principles – When times are tough, an entrepreneurs true colors are revealed. Doctrines, ethics, and ideologies serve as your rudder. They allow you to remain steadfast in running your business in the face of acclimation to a new reality.
- Standards – It's difficult to imagine a world without standards. Personal performance benchmarks and standards to which you hold yourself and your staff speaks volumes about the reliability of your product and service.
- Sense of humor – Studies show laughter and humor bring an array of benefits to the most difficult of circumstances. In addition to reducing stress, humor increases energy — an important asset while managing change. “Every time you find some humor in a difficult situation, you win.” ~Unknown.