“Action may not always bring happiness; but there is no happiness without action.” – Benjamin Disraeli
With everything that’s happened over the past 15+ months, a large portion of the world has become accustomed to not being able to do the things we were used to doing. Travel, dining out, movies, sporting events, etc. – all became, temporarily, a thing of the past. We essentially hunkered down for over a year.
The same thing was true in our professional lives. Less work travel, fewer (if any) in person meetings, and so on. We figured out we could function in a completely different way. A lot of businesses figured out that there were parts of the new way they liked better, and some of those changes are going to stick.
That said, I think we do need to be careful. One thing we need to make sure we don’t make permanent is the feeling a lot of leaders have had during our shared COVID experience. That feeling can essentially be summed up as: Let’s just not do anything crazy until COVID’s over.
Virtually everyone’s been cautious, and rightly so. With such an incredible and unprecedented (in our lifetimes) amount of uncertainty, mere survival was in question. Being cautious was probably the right idea.
But we can’t live in “not do anything crazy” mode forever. At some point, we have to jump back into the pool. We can’t put off investments or trying new ideas or implementing major change forever. We have to get to a point where we can be aggressive again.
I’m not suggesting we do stupid things, or even necessarily crazy things. I’m just suggesting that we are close to reaching the point of doing something. We can’t stay in a cocoon forever. We have to go on the offensive again.
When your business reaches that point is something for each leader to determine. Some industries or geographies or markets will be slower to normalize than others. Some businesses may still be fragile enough that extreme caution may be a valid strategy.
My point is simply that, for most leaders, there is coming a point when we’re going to have to take chances again. We’re going to have to try things that might fail, and then we’ll have to get up off the ground and try again. When your business gets to that point, make sure you’re ready. If you’re already there, then get to work.