Your business shares many more similarities with life than it does with an algorithm or binary line of coding software. It is an evolving, consuming, and continuously growing entity, packed full of vitality, vigor, and an appetite for overcoming challenges. Growth and adaptation to change are vital for success in business.
The fitness of your business will ultimately determine the success of your business because if you aren’t growing, you’re dying.
When Charles Darwin made his revolutionary observations about evolution and natural selection back in 1839, he was very cautious in wording his findings in his groundbreaking book “On The Origin of Species.”
In his book, he said the following profound statement: “The expression (often used by Mr. Herbert Spencer of) the Survival of the Fittest is more accurate, and is sometimes equally convenient” to describe his theory of natural selection.
Little did Darwin realize, this same principle is true for business as it is in life. It is no longer those who are the biggest ones who survive; It’s those who are the fittest who survive.
The .com bubbles of the ’90s and subsequent financial collapse of 2008 gave us great examples of how the “biggest” businesses aren’t always the most “fittest” businesses for handling change, especially during an economic recession.
With the recent events taking place due to COVID-19, every business owner out there should be questioning everything in their industry to see how they will survive through these dire economic times.
Here are the top three questions every leader in business should be asking themselves.
1. Is My Business Capable of Change?
Change is inevitable. It’s all around us, and it always has been. Do you have a company policy for how to handle change?
By many measures, many companies around the world were becoming quite comfortable with the fact that we were witnessing the longest bull run in the history of time, which made it easy to be complacent. And although many would argue that they were ready for anything, COVID-19 came through like a freight train, causing at least 192 companies to file for bankruptcy in 2020 alone.
How are you handling change? For the most part, many companies are merely doing their best with what they’ve got. So, is there a better way to look at change? The Stoic’s of ancient Rome might have something to say about that.
Before he passed away in 180 B.C., Marcus Aurelius and his writings spoke about mentally and physically preparing for change, stating:
“Observe constantly that all things take place by change, and accustom thyself to consider that the nature of the Universe loves nothing so much as to change the things which are, and to make new things like them.”
It is up to you to seek the change you wish to see in your business. Mental fortitude and perseverance are virtues in today’s society, as many are quick to fall prey to feeling like the victim in many of these current situations.
Preparation for change, even during the good times, will allow you to mentally and physically construct your castle walls to secure your safety for the next invasion of uncertainty.
2. Do I Have The Right People in Place to Handle Change?
This seems to be every HR Director’s question of the day. Do we have the right people in the right places to make sure we can weather the storm?
Whoever said, “business isn’t personal” clearly didn’t understand business, because business will always be personal — because it will always involve people in some way, shape, or form.
Having the right people in your organization is one of the fastest and most efficient ways to manage turbulent times because people change faster than technology can.
Having a team full of servant leaders who empower their people to maximize their efforts is a hallmark sign of an innovative company. Your weakest link will always be the limiting factor in your business’ growth and innovation, much like senescent cells in the body are the limiting factor for the proper functioning of our bodily organs and neurons inside the brain.
There is no better time than the present to start investing in your people to develop new skills, services, and mental practices, which can yield significant outcomes for your business’s longevity. Coaching, consulting, and seminars are a great way to keep your people up to date while providing an environment of progressive improvement.
Some of the latest statistics estimate an average of $1.50-$3 return on investment for every $1 spent on workplace wellness and educational programs. While that may not seem like much, it could be the difference between you going out of business and staying in business, especially when it comes to your employees’ health.
Your people will always be your best investment. Invest wisely.
3. How Can I Become a Better Leader?
“Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it.” – Voltaire
Leadership is a double-edged sword, as it carries many prestigious characteristics and respect, yet it blinds us to some of the truths we are unable to see in the world.
Now, more than ever, you need to be seeking new and innovative ways to learn, grow, and adapt to your environment. When Darwin talked about “fitness”, he didn’t just mean fitness in relation to your competitors, he meant fitness in the sense of physical, mental, and emotional endurance.
Your physical fitness can have a direct impact on your mental and emotional fitness due to the fact that your brain is affected by every domain listed. The brain is the final frontier, and as I’ve written before, we must pursue our peak emotional state in order to create our reality of success.
Physical movement can play a significant role in your brain’s overall functionality and cognitive processing, helping you manage the stress and anxiety felt from running the business. We even have evidence that excessive visceral fat on the body can negatively affect your ability to think and process information critically!
Regardless of the type of changes you decide to create and implement into your day, you must be focused on driving growth and innovation within yourself to inspire and move others to do the same. Be the leader you want your employees to be.
Now is the time to take that next step of faith, because there is no better time than the present. Your choices today will be reflected in the outcomes of tomorrow, so be sure to keep your values as you aspire to implement your new goals.
This is not the first, nor the last, pandemic, global crisis, or recession that we will endure. Preparation is the key to survival.
And always remember… “This, too shall pass.”
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