As we slide back into a season that can be an anxious time for many throughout the Caribbean region, the fear surrounding what could happen if a powerful hurricane were to shore up, on any given country, at any given moment, is enough to keep many people from making any plans at all. And those who are a bit more ambitious in goal setting will unconsciously minimize their creative projections and increase their life and company limitations. Some might call this “wisdom!” For some define wisdom as something that is only obtained by the counsel of mentors, or by the experience of previous failures. By that definition, I would debate that a more productive approach would be to employ a progressive business agenda. One that is highly ambitious. An agenda that most would consider a plan destined to fail or be thwarted by the big, bad, devastatingly destructive, yet invisible Category 5 Hurricane. Why, you ask? Because, if you’re making small incremental moves, and something devastating occurs, you’re even further behind than if chose to be a bit more aggressive prior to the debilitating circumstance.
So, let me take a moment to add some weight to methods of how to approach these un-inevitabilities. For starters, if you play too conservative in planning your business agenda around the “un-inevitabilities” of a possible high category hurricane, you would be making these plans year after year, and therefore tremendously stifling the potential growth of your business, division, department, or team. If you were wrong in doing so, five years running, how much money or productivity do you think you may have cost your business? Do you think that this approach would increase or decrease the confidence of your shareholders? What about your team? Would they feel like a trusted bunch of highly skilled professionals, or would you have made them feel like a group of lemmings that can’t navigate their way through adversity if it were to appear in some form? Well, let’s sit those questions on the back burner for a moment. Perhaps you are simply the cautious type, and playing things conservatively is simply the way you play ball. Okay, fine! I can understand that. However, let’s approach your methodology with an inverted way of using that conservatism. Instead of creating a cautious and conservative agenda to deal with something that may or may not happen, why not conservatively make safe decisions that will protect you should something wrong actually occur. Beef up your insurance policy. Reinforce your building structures. Invest into more advance protective coverings for sites you may be working at, or to protect projects and products that may have the propensity of complete ruin should something devastating occur. Using your approach in this manner is still “conservative” in nature, but it gives you an excuse to be the proactive and progressive executive that you have always admired.
Regardless of these suggestions and styles of leadership, it is always wise to consider all possibilities, prior to drafting your business initiatives, in a region that may provide extremely short notice to possible catastrophes that could bring about irrevocable damage to your business, and perhaps even cause its unfortunate demise. With that in mind, I offer you the ancient wisdom mantra questionnaire that many great minds and executives have employed over the centuries to move them past the immobility that fear causes, and into the proactive zone of forward progress: “What is the worst that can happen?” Upon absorbing the vision and possibility of that answer, then ask: “If that were to happen, is that something I would still be able to survive or navigate past?” In most cases, this exercise should bring you peace and the courage to carry out your plans in spite of the possible “un-inevitabilities” that life may bring about.
This is going to continue being a great year, and next year even greater. Don’t let anything keep you from throttling full steam ahead. Apprehension is not the innate trait of a successful executive.
Until next time, plan, build, and continue to prosper.