When Things Go Wrong: Act Quickly!
Once I knew a man, who had a very successful supermarket, in a flourishing area. One day, he came to me, and told me that he had heard that a large company, which employed a lot of people, in the area was due to shut down. After assessing the situation with him, for a few hours, I suggested he sell the business, or simply close down. I urged him to act quickly, whilst he still had options. He responded emotionally, and angrily. He even accused me of jealousy!
A year later, I passed by his shop; it was a sad, sad sight: The bustling activity, had gone, and the shelves were empty. It was exactly what I had told him would happen. Eventually, the creditors, moved in. His shop was sold, his home, his car. He suffered from all way of ailments, and was often in hospital, with High Blood Pressure….all totally unnecessary. If you are running a business, or even a social enterprise; sometimes things can go wrong….Very wrong! Years ago, I realized that even with the best idea in the world… Things can go wrong…. Very wrong!
So what are you going to do, now?
And you know what, more often than not, it is not your fault:
– maybe it is the work of an “enemy”…
– maybe its government policy, in your country;
– maybe someone you trusted, let you down;
– maybe it did not rain!
– maybe.. maybe….
There is no point, in just sitting there, like a deer caught in the lights of an oncoming car!
– each and every day that you delay to act, makes the solution much more difficult and much more costly, and the consequences more
When things go wrong, there are five things that you must do:
1. Accept that things have gone wrong: It does not matter whose fault it is. Take charge. Show responsibility.
2. Make an unemotional assessment, with the help of someone who is independent minded, and was not involved, in how you got there.
Don’t just listen to people who tell you what you want to hear, or those who stroke your ego.
3. Then come up with a plan, even if it means changing direction; downsizing; or even shutting down, what you had started. To do so, does not mean you have failed. This is courage.
4. Act quickly, and boldly. Do not procrastinate. There are very few things that correct themselves, without you doing something.
5. Do the right thing. Don’t compound the problem by trying to hide it. Don’t be proud, even to ask for help, and most importantly to apologize to those who have been negatively affected.
Act quickly…. Act now!