Back in early March, I distinctly remember hearing about the cases of COVID-19 increasing in Italy. It was so scary to hear about the challenge that country was facing. Italy seemed to be the epicenter of Coronavirus cases and media warned of COVID-19 coming to the U.S. It seemed a bit far-fetched at the time, and I never dreamed that the state of Louisiana would have over 129,000 cases of COVID, and that the U.S. would have had 44.9 million cases with 160,220 deaths.
It has been a rough five months for all of us.
On Friday, March 13, our business life changed. There were only 36 cases in the state of Louisiana with warnings that the Coronavirus was coming. We were concerned enough to implement a work from home policy before it was mandated. We loaded up our computers and went home.
As a business owner, and the leader of our team, I was immediately concerned about so many things. Would our employees get sick? Would business dry up? Would we be able to continue to employ our team? If we couldn’t keep our team, could I afford healthcare for them for a while? Would we keep the sales funnel filled? How could we streamline operations to conserve dollars for the future? And overall, what did the future hold?
I went into fight or flight mode at that moment and jumped in with everything I had to keep our business going — with the main goal being just to survive. My Disc profile of being a Di — a high driver that is typically assertive, goal oriented and headstrong kicked into high gear. And I put all my energy into survival. I operate at a fast pace that served me well for the last five months. However it has been exhausting.
In the military there is something known as a tactical pause. When in the height and confusion of battle, getting hit from all sides, a commander may pause to realign, refocus and refresh. There is value in slowing down to rethink and reorganize in order to be more effective moving forward. Basically, to slow down in order to go faster in the future.
Crisis is the time to take a tactical pause.
As we continue to service our current clients at full steam, we are pausing BBR’s strategic planning. Rather than moving full speed ahead, I am going to take a moment for myself and my team to breathe and think. I need time to process everything that has happened to the business over the last five months and my team needs it as well.
After always pushing forward at 100 miles per hour, with countless ideas for business improvement and growth – we are going to slow down to think and plan our next steps as an organization. And I am giving myself permission to say that this is a good move.
Maybe you have been moving forward fast just trying to get through this unprecedented time, often hit by challenges from all sides and operating on adrenaline, but not clear and confident about the future? Just know that at the height of war, a pause is often a good strategic move.
Remember, you’re creative too.