Amongst the slew of things I do poorly (read Management Mess to Leadership Success for a start), I have a few areas of competence. One, in particular, is that I’m always prepared. Yes, like a Boy Scout.
I like to be in control of my life.
As much as possible, I own the outcomes of my decisions, for good and bad. Thus I am by some accounts quite strategic with who I friend, where I invest, and what projects I assign my name to.
I also love a good crisis; it’s often when I do my best work.
That’s usually great for my brand, as I truly thrive under pressure. Tell me at 8 p.m. to board a flight and speak to 7,000 people tomorrow across the country? No problem. Tell me my phone will ring in two minutes with a reporter asking for an opinion or reaction to some issue? Bring it on. Approach me at a wedding or even a funeral to say a prayer or offer a toast? I’m your guy. Candidly, I’m darn good in a pinch.
I also like to prepare.
Phones are always charged at night. Back-up batteries charged, as well. Cash on hand, locked in the safe. Water, food, and emergency supplies in the home at all times. I even keep boxes in our cars in the winter with blankets, hand warmers, books, granola bars, water, and flashlights in case the cars slide off the road in a snowstorm.
I’m ready for a hurricane. I’m ready for a power outage. I’m ready for just about anything.
Except for it seems an earthquake, on top of a pandemic and a financial meltdown.
Last Tuesday, my wife and I were sitting in our sunroom at 7 a.m. watching the TODAY Show. Snuggling with us was our oldest son who is nine. The other two boys, eight and five, were asleep. Coffee in hand and wrapped in blankets, we suddenly felt and heard a loud, unrecognizable sound that felt like a crane was lifting our home off its foundation and sounded like a fighter jet was landing vertically in our back yard. It took about three seconds while we looked at each other and ruled out the extraterrestrial, and I shouted, “It’s an earthquake.” Distracted by the crashing glasses and rocking home, we located all the boys and processed what was happening. We quickly dressed the boys, gathered some supplies into a bag, and pulled one of the cars out of the garage. This being our first earthquake, we likely looked like chickens with our heads cut off, but I was worried another one might come. And they did. About 160 aftershocks (four of which again rocked our home and sanity) in the ensuing days.
We’re now prepared for what may come again this week. I’m tempted to say, “Bring it on,” but one recent president said that and regretted it later.
So I won’t say that. But I will say this:
Everything is figureoutable (thank you Marie Forleo). To some level.
This week our family is doing our best to own our circumstances. What does this week look like? Next week? Next month? The fall? 2021? Thinking very carefully what we may face in terms of health, school, employment, our finances—short, mid, and long term. Thinking about those around us, family and friends, and what role we can play in helping them.
How is this disruption impacting you? Can you get creative about figuring out solutions to issues that are likely coming your way?
FranklinCovey Executive Vice President, Though Leadership