Think Optimistically (Focus on the Business Basics Series)

Following on from the last edition of our Business Basics series – Learn from the Past – in this post we focus on Thinking Optimistically.

These seven tips reflect the need for an attitude that sees beyond the harsh realities of the current situation and believes that all is not lost. As the philosopher, Michael de Montaigue is quoted as saying:

“I am an optimist. It just does not seem much use being anything else.”

  • Demonstrate confident leadership – Leaders are made in a crisis. Of all the demands placed on a leader in uncertain times, a positive outlook, an optimistic approach and a focus beyond the short term are the most critical. 
  • Adopt the right mindset. Having the right attitude is more important than having the right answers. Take an inventory of your past successes – the achievements that have occurred despite difficult circumstances. Provide direction, certainty and assurance to your people.  Believe in yourself and focus your energies on what you are good at.  
  • Be clear in what you want to achieve despite the changing economic conditions. Know what future success must look like for your organisation.  Become even more goal-oriented than you were prior to this pandemic and don’t shy away from ‘Big Hairy Audacious Goals’!    At least twice a day reflect on or put in place initiatives to realise those goals.  
  • Communicate your objectives, goals and strategy clearly and openly.  In a simple message, articulate exactly where the organisation needs to head to prevent your team pulling in different directions and wasting energy. Keep your goals simple. Communicate them regularly and make sure everyone understands how those goals are relevant to them. Goals are useless unless everyone understands them and can do something about them each day.  
  • Focus on the fundamentals. Identify, understand and respond to the changing demands of your customers; work to re-establish a strong marketing and sales culture; concentrate on your organisation’s core competencies; regularly review and, whenever necessary, modify your strategy. 
  • Do not simply adopt an attitude of ‘cutting expenditures’.  Re-evaluate and redirect expenditure by all means. Don’t just ask ‘Where are we wasting money?’, instead, ask ‘Where can we get the greatest impact from the money we do have?’ 
  • Don’t just see opportunities; seize opportunities.  In tougher times, opportunities to acquire undervalued and underperforming companies (and assets) abound.  Evaluate these opportunities carefully, have a plan but act quickly. 

The next topic in this series is Operate Differently.

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