Be Storm Fit!

I am hearing the words and phrases “Storm”, “Perfect Storm”, “Tsunami”, “Battle” and “going to war” more and more in my coaching sessions. We put on brave faces, but in our private moments we feel it is taking its toll and sense the temptation to run away. I know it’s tough. But know this: your storm can be your passage to greatness!

Recently a friend of mine, a CEO of a national company with an international footprint, went through a terrible stormy time, both in business as well as in his personal life. And the storm kept on building momentum. He felt like a ship trying to fight for survival with wave after wave, wind after wind from all directions. It is easy to lose perspective and hope when you are in the midst of it all.

He is no exception. You are either in a storm, just coming out of one, or heading towards one. And of course, you can and should try to avoid some them, but most of life’s storms happen without warning. And it seems as if the foreseen future will be full of stormy weather patterns. But this is important: every storm will pass.

The worst thing you can do, is to become oblivious to the reality of storms, living in your own world that could be shattered soon. The first best thing to do is to be aware of it and become intentional about your reaction to it.

So, become storm-fit. What’s your SOP: “Storm Operational Plan”? Here are some attitudes and techniques you and your organisation might want to include in your plan to give yourselves the best chance of a good outcome:

  • BE PREPARED: Be ready. Become efficient and streamlined. Know who you are, what’s really important and what you are trying to achieve. Then ask yourself what you really need to get there. Keep on doing the basics right. Stop doing what’s not really helping you to achieve your mission.
  • FACTUAL BUT NOT FEARFUL: When the storm comes, face it. Be observant and informed, watch the dashboard. Get to know what you are up against.
  • TOGETHER: Take it on with your inner circle (team and/or family). You are not meant to sail alone. Two or more heads are normally better than one. And in stormy times we need support and unity. We feel and are stronger together.
  • HEART & MIND: Check your mind-set, inner world and attitude. It is not your circumstances, but your thoughts, decisions, and intentional actions that will determine 90 % of the outcome. Be brave and courageous. Navigate your thoughts and emotions.
  • SOLUTION-MINDED. Overcome challenges wind by wind, wave by wave, one problem at a time with a successful end in mind. Think possibilities, not problems and excuses.
  • AGILITY: Be flexible, wise and adaptable. Your strategic plan of a few months ago might not be the best plan anymore. Re-plan your course, but keep moving forward towards the end goal.
  • HOPEFUL and OPTIMISTIC: Keep the end / destiny in mind (proactivity). See and feel yourself celebrating victory! Be your own and the team’s cheerleader and encourager
  • CELEBRATE when you are through the storm, take time to celebrate but also to recover. Thank those who helped you, reflect on the lessons learned, put the losses behind you, and for a while enjoy the calmness after the storm. Regroup if necessary.

If you do this, you will not only survive the storms but emerge out of it stronger. As a team you will be closer and will have stories, testimonies and lessons to share. You will be overcomers and conquerors.

The best companies and leaders I know, have battle scars – which I call victory scars. May you have a brave journey through the storms and celebrate many victories and good recoveries!