Anyone in the audience when I have given my presentation “Radical Resilience” knows that I believe action is the antidote for anxiety. Sitting and stewing, muttering and watching storm clouds, or pacing back and forth does nothing. When we begin to take control over even the smallest part of our life, we begin to gain a sense of forward momentum.
Consider these five tips — any of which can be started in small steps and increased as time and talent permit.
(1) Pitch out what doesn’t add value. Lean is NOT mean. Start with a file drawer, a computer folder, a closet, and yes — even your contact list. Everything that we hold on to that is obsolete, not useful, out- dated takes up physical and emotional space. To let in the new, we’ve got the clear out the old. You might find — as I did — that cleaning up a database brings “old” client to mind. We had lost touch. I reconnected and have now renewed friendships and/ or a client relationship. You might find great ideas that were not useful then but are very timely now. At the very least—the action of tossing away just lightens the load.
(2) Spend wisely. Think of everything in terms of “what will this do for my customer.” Circuit City fired all their seasoned, knowledgeable employees because they were more expensive than new employees. Too bad. Without trained staff to help customers, Circuit City now was just a store with stuff. Ordinary. Common. And now out of business.
(3) Follow your values and offer value for what you give. If an action goes against what you value, in the long run the price you pay will be far too high. I am not right for every client. Accepting work for the money rather than for the match will hurt both of us.
(4) Talk to your team and your customers. Better still: LISTEN. This is not the same as e-mail. Pick up the phone. Better still, meet face-to-face. Rally troops real time. We don’t feel the human support from a screen or a text message. Ideas can come from anywhere and anyone.
(5) Sullyize your workers. OK—I made up this word but perhaps it will catch on. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger was a masterful pilot who trained, and trained, and trained again. You don’t make that kind of landing in a two-minute timeframe without having practiced, and trained. Yet — what do too many organizations do in these times? Cut training!! If you want employees to handle crises, you’ve got to train rigorously. Think customer service skills, leadership skills, clear communication skills. Responses can be second nature if training is diligent.