Building Business Resilience in Chaotic Times

When I read Georgia’s COVID-19 Stay In Place Executive Order, it reminded me of disaster response during hurricane season along the Charleston coast. 

Within days, I lost 80% of my clients, at least temporarily. 

A key contract was put on hold. 

But how do you deal with the crisis, bounce back and get ready for recovery? 

Building resilience is essential for every business owner and CEO. How you respond will impact your business and employees. 

What is Resilience? 

Resilience is a mindset that allows us to adapt to adversity, disaster, trauma, tragedy, threats, and have the capacity to deal with a high level of daily stress and bounce back. Often, resilience comes out of dealing with change, adverse conditions and it involves a set of behaviors, thoughts, and actions developed under duress conditions  

Have you noticed how some business owners and CEOs thrive during a disaster, and other others succumb to the impact – why? 

Four Differences 

People who thrive under adverse conditions have developed the following behaviors: 

  • Control.  Business owners and CEOs who are resilient can take a step back from a challenging situation, accept the negative impact while finding opportunity and meaning under adverse conditions. They are able to look for opportunities under declining conditions, set goals, and act. Their response to adverse conditions encourages them to focus on the things they can change and accept conditions they cannot change. 
  • Emotional Intelligence. Those who thrive have an awareness and the ability to regulate their emotions and not allow themselves to succumb to stress and anxiety under adverse conditions. Resilient business owners and leaders are also aware of emotions and needs in others and willing to support and give to help others. They exhibit compassion toward others. 
  • Connection.  Business owners and CEOs who are able to be resilient in a disaster have an extensive network of friends and colleagues to help them access resources to get things done, and through others with power.  They are part of a network leverage strength in numbers.  
  • Health & Wellbeing.  They have a lifestyle that offset mental and unhealthy conditions that contribute to risks. They are aware and practice a healthy lifestyle that includes eating healthy, exercising, and mindfulness. 

Three Tips to Build Resilience 

  • Be Hopeful. Do what you can control and accept what you cannot control. Look towards the future and prepare for the recovery. This too shall pass.   
  • Take Care of Yourself. Take time to enjoy activities or hobbies. Listen to music, read a good book, and include physical and mental activities like yoga, meditation, and daily prayer. Find ways to stay connected with family and friends. 
  • Anticipate a Recovery. Business owners and CEOs who are resilient are planning, preparing, and prioritizing essential functions and communication to re-open their business.  Because most businesses had limited operations during a massive disruption, now is the time to create a mobilization plan for a healthy return.  

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