3 Ways Business Leaders Can Use Power, Love, and Self-Control to Restore Our Country’s Emotional and Economic Health
While one in three adults in the US currently suffer from clinical anxiety or depression from the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic, we engaged in another traumatic roller coaster with the videos and aftermath of the killing of Minnesotan George Floyd.
Sadness about the racial tensions and loss of life, concerns for those impacted more personally by the Coronavirus, escalation in political bantering, and fears about the economic impact of the consequences of our response to the pandemic swirl in the hearts and minds of most Americans.
I’m a people watcher.
And I’m an entrepreneur.
For a long time I’ve long known that business owners are odd ducks. We beat a different drum. The successful ones find the need to stick together. Other people think we and our ideas are crazy. And, in many cases, they are right.
But this same eccentricity has bubbled into a potent force for good in these uncertain times, when we, as business owners, learn to effectively use the tools we possess: POWER, LOVE, and SELF-CONTROL.
Coronavirus has impacted people and businesses in extreme ways. Some businesses prospered greatly during the shutdown; others were put on life support with forced closures. Yet, every business owner I talked to showed great resilience, positivity, and hope for the future. They exhibited and embraced their power.
Uncertainty, fear, risks, and threats accompany the journey of those starting and growing a business. For many, personal “Coronavirus” episodes like getting divorced, being laid off from jobs, health crises were what led them to start their businesses in the first place.
More seasoned business owners had already weathered multiple storms. With each torrential rain, they put systems in place; corrected vulnerabilities; and came up with innovative solutions to help them weather the next “hit” in their journey to profitability and sustainability.
Business owners, especially in the early stages, live with economic uncertainty. For many in the growth stages of their businesses, just meeting payroll each month constitutes Coronavirus-like stress.
Frankly, most people don’t have the stomach to be an entrepreneur.
And, thank God for that. We need the risk-takers, but we also need those preferring the security of a regular paycheck and the stability of a business enterprise that is someone else’s responsibility to handle.
For the paycheck earners, the economic upheaval creates huge emotional havoc.
Savvy business owners see trends, opportunities, and new ways to serve their existing clients or even serve emerging markets.
It’s a locus of control: business owners feel more in control of their own future while paycheck earners feel out of control. When people feel out of control, they stress with powerlessness.
STEP #1: RECOGNIZE YOUR POWER AS A BUSINESS OWNER AND USE IT FOR THE GREATER GOOD.
You are used to chaos. You know how to tame and transform it. You know how to make lemonade from lemons. So, to serve the world in these crazy times, just keep plugging forward doing what you were born to do. You are creating economic opportunities for others. You are providing products and services that make people’s lives better. You are providing means for other people to live and thrive. So, exercise your POWER by boldly doing your thing with confidence.
Social media, love it or hate it, provides transparency and exposes who is and is not authentic. The days of being a self-serving, money-grabbing business owner slip away as more and more people see through insincerity. Consumers gravitate to businesses that have their highest well-being in mind. They do commerce with people and organizations who really care about them and want to provide a product or service they value.
So, let’s just make the assumption here that the thriving businesses now and of the future operate on a principle of LOVE. They must love what they do; they must love who they serve, and they must love making the people they serve happy.
STEP #2: NOW MORE THAN EVER TAKE THE ACTIONS OF LOVE FOR YOUR CUSTOMERS, YOUR NEIGHBORS, AND FOR THE WORLD.
If your business has suffered from the current events, graciously receive the help available to you. You and your business are important to our economic and emotional recovery. You making it work inspires others. It sheds light and hope that we all can get through tough times.
If your business hasn’t taken the hit that others have, be generous with your resources. Pay it forward. If you feel comfortable and have the means, spend your dollars at those theaters, bars, and retail shops, who’ve been voluntarily closing their doors to keep us safe. Give your hairstylist and waiter great tips. Double up your donation to your place of worship. Give the checkout clerk at the grocery store, postal delivery person, or UPS worker a gift card of thanks for being on the front lines to make our country work.
If your personal circumstances allow you to go in public, while following the social distancing guidelines in your area, go out and let others know you are out there. Be sensitive and caring to those vulnerable in our population who are likely not to survive getting the Covid-19. But make it clear to others that for many of us, it’s okay to get back into life and get our economy going.
Think of new ways to meet your customer’s needs. Reach out to other business colleagues and friends just to check in, who also might be experiencing the negative effects of reduced people contact and screwed up personal and professional routines. Do all of these in the name of LOVE and you are directly contributing to the quicker turnaround in our country and the world.
What’s happened in the US since March has sparked much debate. It’s healthy and our responsibility to engage respectfully in those debates if we want a better tomorrow. By exercising self-control, as business owners we set the stage for constructive discussions about real problems and real solutions. Do so in a spirit of collaboration, not criticism.
STEP #3: LEAD INTENTIONALLY IN A POSITIVE DIRECTION BY EXERCISING YOUR SELF-CONTROL.
Those not used to the daily ups and downs of the typical entrepreneur lifestyle might still be stuck in their limbic system in a fight-or-flight state in dealing with the current craziness.
But, you business owners are in your element. Use your gift of critical thinking to be intentional about everything you do and say. People are watching. They are looking for your lead. Intentionally exercise your influence through SELF-CONTROL in sharing hope and solutions in both business and personal settings as we move forward.
Recent events undoubtedly permanently shift the way we do business, the way we view our neighbor, our ideas of justice and authority, and our own understanding of our personal vision and purpose.
As business leaders we have important roles in leading our nation to healing, health, peace and a better tomorrow through use of our inheritance of POWER, LOVE, AND SELF-CONTROL. Use it intentionally and wisely.
Christian Entrepreneurial Biz and Life Tip: “To whom much is given, much will be required” (Luke 12:48). You are blessed as a business owner and the world is a better place having you in it. Write down and execute one way you will use your a) power, b) love, and c) self-control to accelerate the economic and emotional healing and recovery of our nation.