Our mindset is core

Kia ora koutou katoa,

Well, the roller coaster ride continues... Here’s to holding on and finding things to enjoy while we’re strapped in!

With the constant uncertainty that has become our new normal, you don’t need me to tell you that now more than ever it’s a time for being agile and able to pivot – constant reset, in other words. Learn to roll with the punches and always have a backup plan.

I believe that our mindset is core.

I started to write that we need to embrace the pandemic but realised that isn’t quite what I meant! We do though need to accept that this is our new reality. It’s with us now, so how are we going to find ways to thrive? 

Someone told me about a podcast about a blind man who was in one of the Twin Towers on 9/11. His guide dog kept calm and supported him out to safety. The man was worried about the trauma the dog would have experienced and rung the vet the next day. After ascertaining that the dog hadn’t been hit by anything the vet assured him that the dog would be fine. “Dogs don’t do what-ifs”. It made me think that if we can do fewer what-ifs then we will be in a stronger place to deal with what is. 

A lot of it is about balance. We were reminded of that last week with the focus on mental health. It’s okay to have a bad moment and take time out. Much better than trying to push through or soldier on when we are up against a wall. COVID is impacting us all, whether we’re in lockdown or not. We’re all experiencing a lot of strain and dealing with strain is tiring.

Do consciously take the pressure off several times a day and refuse to feel guilty. We may think upping the ante is all that’s needed. A very big fat no. Working harder is not working smarter. So take those breaks. Listen to music that lifts your mood. Do something that brightens your soul. Contact someone you know is on their own. Watch something that makes you laugh. Do whatever it takes to free up your mojo. 

As we Zoom on and get more and more proficient in the virtual world, we still need and will always need real people and real human interaction. Hugs aside, we can exchange a smile that reaches our eyes, share the energy that comes from being with others. It’s so great our Auckland whanau can do that a bit more now. 

Keep connected with other small businesses – share your highs, lows and challenges.  We need each other.

I am super-passionate about ensuring our Kiwi businesses continue to thrive. That’s what gets me up in the morning, and I am so honoured to be considered a trusted advisor. A client was kind enough to contact me recently to tell me how working with me had helped. “You get me” he said. “You ask the right questions, you see below the surface and you’re always on point.” To me, it is so important to ask the hard questions but it needs to be done in a way that makes things easier. In a kind way. At the same time to avoid the tricky stuff ends up not being kind in the end. So whether it’s with me or another person you trust, do check-in.

Get support, build in accountability, and above all, keep connected. It’s so easy to feel isolated not only physically but mentally and that’s a slippery slope. Face to face is optimal but online is most definitely invaluable, too. Take the opportunity of any time you may have had freed up because of Covid to get stuck into strategic planning for your business. 

The team approach is so important whether on an individual or a national level (GO, Team New Zealand). Jim Collins of Good to Great fame summed it up perfectly when he said, “You need to get the right people on the bus in the right seats, all heading in the same direction. When you manage this, great things can happen.”  - 

There’s an awesome clip from a submarine commander who changed the way the vessel operated by empowering his staff to make their own decisions based on their specialised knowledge (the only decision he retained for himself only was the decision to launch a missile!).

Do watch it if you have a chance. It will inspire you in your leadership, whether in your business or in your whanau! 

We’re all going to need lots more strength, grace, and humour as we move forward. Let’s keep supporting one another. Kia kaha everyone.

You rock.