I have a good friend just about to retire. In a text exchange over the last week, I inquired "Still set for the move?" His response: "Yes, the movers are scheduled, and I plan to give notice at the end of this month, only I look at my investment portfolio daily. Maybe I should wait."
For sure, now is a hard time to make a significant change like the one my friend is making, but should he reverse course and delay his retirement? No way. Or as my friends and clients have heard me say many times, Don't Bite.
Could anything in your planning help you weather this?
As a strategic planner, I make my living helping clients create a picture of an ideal future world where their dreams and ambitions are realized. We use the most pragmatic planning disciplines and creative techniques to engage the thinking of their talented stakeholders often to achieve their goals a year ahead of plan.
However, even with all this effort, it does not make their strategy is bulletproof. They experience huge barriers, game-changing disruptions, and shifting assumptions that put their goals at risk. 100% of the time they experience threats to their plans and unforeseen obstacles, but they don't retreat and change their goals. They prevail and manifest their vision because they believe in themselves and their plans for the future.
As the Coronavirus spreads in our country and across the world, it is forcing everyone to step back or stop our forward progress for the moment. And yes, for businesses on the edge of viability, this disruption may cause their demise, but I believe these will be in the minority.
The way to prevail through times of significant change – even ones as dramatic as this pandemic - is to keep emotions in check and use our wits to follow the guidance given to ensure we are not making things worse.
Let your emotions focus on the plight of folks struggling to regain strength to fight the virus or to those sidelined by quarantines.
If not directly impacted, don't overreact and backtrack on your plans. Stay the course and prepare for the winds to change.
So, could anything in your planning help you weather this? Yes, a strong plan and confidence in it.
Take the time given to verify your position – evaluate where this set back puts you – and prepare to resume from there when business conditions resume.