A young man and his father were watching a huge fire coming down from the hills towards their family vineyard. At first, the young man tried to organize buckets of water but it was clear that the fire would engulf everything and consume the vineyard. Then to his surprise he saw the old man pick up an axe and run towards the vines. Systematically he began to cut the vines, leaving only the roots.
"We must protect the root, my son. Do as I show you."
And with this they saved a business that was several generations old.
Every business has a root, and you must know that root. You must be able to protect that root, when things are tough. Sometimes protecting that root looks cruel, but you must protect it at all costs. Sometimes it can come down to reducing activity to the bare minimum, with just a handful of staff. Your most valuable resource will always be good people.
There's no successful entrepreneur who does not know what I'm talking about. It may well be one of the most difficult things you'll ever do.
# Stay very clear about who you are and what business you're in.
# Don’t underestimate the crisis.
# Make sure you’re looking at credible data.
# Manage with grace under pressure.
# Review and revise your game plan as needed, acknowledging which plans aren’t working.
# Decide what you need to do in order to get where you want to go.
# Tackle the problems systematically. Don’t throw kerosene onto a fire.
# Don’t get distracted; make the tough decisions that you need to, without delay. One bucket of water won’t save a hectare of crisis.
# Seek and value professional advice.
# Don’t be afraid to try something new. Crisis is often how great innovation begins. (When the going gets tough, don’t give up on new growth!)
# Lead with courage and vision, even if your heart is sad.
Don’t panic. Pray and plan..