It is May. It is my birthday month and I love the long days, the sun (usually) and the lilies of the valley.
This year the tree blossom seems to have been particularly spectacular or maybe it was just because
Easter gave us such lovely weather and the first proper opportunity to spend time with family and
friends with no restrictions. And so we come to May in all its glory and start to plan and anticipate the
celebrations of long Jubilee June weekend.
This month I have been spending time with people who are resetting their businesses.
I have been talking with lots of tradesmen as I am having work done at home. All of them are incredibly
busy but are moaning about it. I have never understood this approach. Being busy is such a wonderful
problem to have and if it really is too much then get more people, put up your prices or turn the work
away! Make the most of it while you can and please do not moan about it.
On the other hand there are businesses that are starting to feel the pinch. It is inevitable. With the
media full of the bad times coming and the war in Ukraine there is not much good news: increased
national insurance contributions, higher fuel prices and transport costs, inflation more noticeable every
week. People are fearful and customers are looking to control their costs. Goodness knows how bad it
will get but with fuel and energy costs both soaring inevitably every price will go up.
So what do we do?
We could just get the miseries. It would be understandable but how will that affect us? It will certainly
do our own states of mind no good. Driving ourselves into a downward spiral will gradually paralyse us.
As we are our most potent sales weapon freezing in fear will negate all we offer. This is the time when
we need to fake it to make it. You know how it goes we have to act happy; we have to behave like the
world is a wonderful place and we are full of joy to be here. We need to cheer up the people we speak
with. Joining in with a moan must become the worst of sins. We must greet every day as a gift. And the
truth is in comparison with the poor folk in Ukraine, Syria or Yemen it is, we are so fortunate.
We need to love our customers and make it a joyful experience to deal with us. I have often spoken
about outrageously good customer service and this is the moment for it. Do the unexpected and
amazing things. Anyone caught moaning either to colleagues or customers needs to be sanctioned. I
love fining people when they are caught doing this and when the complaining funds get to a decent size
everyone enjoys a treat.
I also think it is a great time to get back to basics. I read Turn the Ship Around when it first came out and
it is one of my “go to” management books for leadership. I have huge admiration for submariners. I
cannot imagine what it must be like to spend six months away from your family in a hugely confined
space close up and personal with human beings who are colleagues and not friends. It takes a special
type of person. David Marquet was a captain of such a nuclear submarine and developed a new type of leadership in that environment. If you have not read the book and do not know about the leader –
leader model rather than the leader – follower approach do seek it out. Using this he created a team
that ran effectively and happily and developed very high levels of engagement. It is what we all need to
create especially in the current employment environment.
I also think it is time to engage with the business canvas to look again at the levers that operate your business. Again if it is not something you know about follow it up and enjoy the whole process. Take a look at https://www.businessmodelsinc.com/about-bmi/tools/business-model-canvas/ and some of the YouTube resources. Alexander Osterwalder of Strategyzer invented this tool. It is always fun to do. I usually get people to start by looking at their favourite business and sometimes we move on to a competitor before coming back to their own business. It can be very revealing and shows where energy should be directed.
So remember the miseries are banned! These could be three strategies that will help: Love yourself and radiate that feeling to the people you work with whether colleagues, suppliers or customers. Be a fun place to be. Read Turn the Ship Around and think about how people can take charge of decisions. Try the Business Canvas to think about your business in a new way. You may have other ways and there are many. Please share your favourites with me. Remember our world is what we make it.
If you need some help then perhaps we should talk. If as you read this it resonates with you or someone you might know; if you like my ideas and values; if you want to develop your business or yourself; then please give me a call. I love speaking with people, off the meter, to help them explore possibilities and whether/how to take them forward. If you want an objective view of how things are in your business pick up the phone now and let’s have a chat.