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This is war!

30 April 2020
Mark Friend
COVID-19, Payroll, People, Building a Business

As a leader are you stepping up?

This is war!

That was the title of one of Darren Hardy’s daily mentoring recordings, which I tune into every day, and I have to totally agree.

Not only are we battling as a nation to preserve real lives, we (as business owners) are battling to preserve our way of life – our businesses.

Cut out the noise

The first thing business leaders need to see through is the endless noise out there. The government has set a course which we are following – for good or bad. We need to cut from our lives the naysayers and doom mongers by stop listening to endless streams of repeated news and be selective of who we refer to. During the Covid 19 crisis the daily briefing by the government is all most of us need and to be honest you could probably cut this back to the daily headline! The media questions asked afterwards are often piffle. There is little in the way of new insight.

We need to clear our minds and focus on what matters as business owners- the preservation of our businesses and those of our customers.


In time of war you need to communicate.

Any general will tell you that in war one of the keys to success is strong communications between all your units and a clear line of command. There is so much happening, the speed of change is frightening and the hard choices we are having to make are life changing. Only through strong communication can we provide direction to our team to ensure that our businesses come through this challenging time.

Use tools such as Microsoft teams or zoom and communicate daily or at least weekly with your team. It takes just 5 minutes  to give a strong clear positive message which can drive activity.

In addition, communication with your customers is also key – even if you can’t supply them. Keeping in touch ensures your customers know that you are thinking about them and care. When things change,  and they will, you will be at the forefront of their minds. Don’t let them forget you!

Essentially most businesses are made up of just two elements – a great team and great customers.

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Have faith

In “Good to Great James C. Collins writes about a conversation he had with Admiral Jim Stockdale regarding his coping strategy during his period in the Vietnamese POW camp. Admiral Jim Stockdale spent over 7 years in a prisoner of war camp during the Vietnam War.

“I never lost faith in the end of the story, I never doubted not only that I would get out, but also that I would prevail in the end and turn the experience into the defining event of my life, which, in retrospect, I would not trade”.

When Collins asked who didn’t make it out of Vietnam, Stockdale replied:

“Oh, that’s easy, the optimists. Oh, they were the ones who said, ‘We’re going to be out by Christmas.’ And Christmas would come, and Christmas would go. Then they’d say, ‘We’re going to be out by Easter.’ And Easter would come, and Easter would go. And then Thanksgiving, and then it would be Christmas again. And they died of a broken heart.”

Stockdale then added:

“This is a very important lesson. You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end—which you can never afford to lose—with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.”

In this time of crisis this is a key lesson for a business owner to learn. You must keep the faith. Deal with what you can control and make the Covid-19 experience into one of the defining events of your business life.

If you need to reassess your business future then why not contact Mark Friend or Andrew Grant.

The content in this blog is correct as at 30/04/2020. See terms and conditions.

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