I wrote in my last post about the importance of momentum in business and how to maintain it even during the COVID 19 crisis.

  • Don’t lose sight of your aim.  You are in business for a reason; don’t let this crisis take over your thoughts and cause you to forget your aim
  • Work as hard as possible every day.  You already do this in normal times; a crisis is not an excuse to freeze up and stop working
  • Be positive and focus on positive things.  By positive, I am not talking about happiness but, rather, anything that drives you towards your aim.

Let’s focus more on being positive.  Positivity in a crisis is extraordinarily difficult but, without it, turnarounds fail.  I’m convinced that a lack of positivity – a lack of passionate focus on your aim – is the primary reason there are so few real turnarounds.

It’s a rare executive that can juggle all of the day to day negative pressures of a crisis and still remain mentally clear and passionate enough to execute on the work that really matters to move the business in a positive direction. 

For professionals experienced in insolvency and restructuring, it’s painfully obvious and sad when you meet an executive that has let a crisis, and the endless detailed problems it generates, take over their days, and maybe their life.  We see it all the time: in their body language; their choice of language; their lack of confidence; their lack of passion.

And, yet, you can’t blame the executive for feeling beat up.  They have spent the last months or years (in a surprising number of cases) hyper-stressed every day, all day, by cash short falls, losing money and external and internal pressures to do better.  And it’s not just in business; the stress and problems often carry over to their personal lives or, perhaps, began with their personal lives. 

The trick to a successful turnaround is being able to push aside negativity, fear and the pressures of the endless fires and to, instead, work towards your aim. 

It’s not easy.  But, here’s a hack that may help you in this current crisis, or anytime that you feel overwhelmed:

Pick a time of day during which you are best suited to deal with problems and negativities.  For me, it used to be late at night.  Now I find it’s early in the morning. 

Every day, at that time, set aside no more than 2 hours to intensively work on the fires in your business: cash flow, angry creditors, restructuring, layoffs, etc.  I would also suggest, in this current crisis, limiting your consumption of the news to this same window.

At the end of the scheduled time, stop.  For the rest of the day, don’t work on fires; don’t read or listen to virus news, text messages or emails.  Instead, work only on things that will drive sustained, improved profitability.  Examples might be initiatives in sales, productivity, reduced waste, technology, capitalization.

Compressing the negativity of a crisis into a short, intensive and pre-scheduled time interval is productive, effective, hopeful and keeps you mentally engaged and passionate about your business.

Sinclair Range is offering free Zoom or phone consulting in 15-minute increments to businesses struggling during these difficult times.  We believe that is one small way we can add some value.

Feel free to reach out to book a conversation. 

Stay healthy!

Scott Sinclair