Posted by Paladin on November 21, 2008
1. Be strategic (or “Keep your cool even if everyone else is losing theirs”).
What matters most to your organization? Your job is to figure out your “secret sauce,” and make sure that that is the last place where cuts are made.
2. Knowwhat you can and can’t affect (or, “Don’t tilt at windmills”).
Realize that there is no way that you alone, can materially impact the overall economic cycle or the march of technology. On the other hand, you can affect how you manage your expenses and how you learn about and react to changes. Worrying about the future is inevitable, but don’t let it immobilize you.
3.Move quickly and decisively (or “Fish; don’t just cut bait”).
Businesses have to make money (even nonprofits need operating surpluses to maintain operations). If you look at your budgets and you’re at a deficit, you’ve got two choices: Act quickly to fix it so you can be ready and able to go on, or act slowly and prolong the pain. The latter may seem more palatable as you first survey the scene, but it rarely works.
4.Keep your personal life under control (or, “No one ever died thinking they hadn’t spent enough time worrying”).
This is very stressful stuff. You have a lot to do; you have to do it quickly; and you often have to hurt good people whom you value. But that’s the easy part. The hard part is dealing with the feeling that you aren’t in control. Events are driving the train. You are just an unhappy, unwilling passenger.
The feeling that you are not in control is what causes the stress. (You may think it’s all the work you’ve got, but consider: You’d be just as stressed if the world was collapsing and you had nothing to do.)