Taking Aim in a Hurricane
Updated: Aug 13, 2020
You step up to the line drawn in the grass and look up at the target ahead. 77 yards in front of you is your target, and at the very center is the yellow circle you're aiming for.
Reaching back into your quiver, you grab an arrow and bring it forward. After you notch it in your bow you raise it up, and in one clean motion you draw back the bowstring. As the tension you created at the grip point on the string holds, you close one eye and start to aim. A glint of sunlight catches your eye and you adjust your position to avoid it. While the tip of your arrow seems to be in the right place, you notice a disruptive wind blowing from your left side, and adjust your aim accordingly to take this into account.
Although your arrow will travel at a speed of 225 feet per second, slight environmental changes like this can still throw off your aim, causing you to miss the central target. Although hitting the red circle that wraps around this smaller yellow target at the center still counts as an excellent shot, your competitors are strong, and you can't afford to hit anything but dead center if you want to win and move on to the next round.
After much preparation you feel confident that you've accounted for everything, and finally you let the arrow fly.
Consider the relatively placid situation in the example above, and then consider that same scenario unfolding during a hurricane. The difficulty would jump from easy to insane, and short of walking up to the target (without being blown away) and sticking the arrow in by hand, it would be difficult to muster the conviction to let it fly while there's a storm raging around you.
This tempestuous environment is one we find ourselves in at present as we face a global pandemic for the first time in roughly a century. Everywhere we turn there seems to be a new piece of advice on offer for entrepreneurs and their teams, so our foremost intention here is to extend our best wishes and support to everyone affected by the virus.
Although the way ahead is no longer looking the way we expected it would we are now called upon to plot a new path forward, which could potentially bring us to a better result than had originally been expected. If digital sales had previously held a role secondary or even complementary to retail, this is the time to reevaluate how far you can take that segment of your strategy. Down the road you may find that you have not only fully recovered your performance in retail, but now have an equal or even stronger line of business online. Through discussions and observation evaluate where the dormant potential on your team might be waiting for your engagement. You may find that colleagues who have been your go-to source for specific functions may actually have the ability and desire to add to their function stack and deepen their involvement in other parts of the business.
Collective experiences during this time are something of a mixed bag, and more or less there are as many variations in experience out there as there are companies. Don't neglect to reach out to people in your network to understand what they're going through, and be open about your own experiences so that both sides can learn from each other and be better prepared to weather this storm.
At this point you might think that you've heard it all when it comes to stories and lessons from the pandemic, but don't underestimate the greater potential to learn from one-on-one conversations as compared to reading something online. Communicate frequently with your team about more than work - ask colleagues how they're doing and use this unique time as a chance to foster deeper relationships with the people you're in the trenches with.
Beyond the measures you take to protect your business and career, use this time to care for yourself and the ones you love. Though it's hard to know when this will all end, we do know that it won't last forever. No storm does.