Break­through think­ing in tur­bu­lence

The Sunday Mail (Zimbabwe) - - MOTIVATION/ BUSINESS NEWS - Mil­ton Kamwendo Hunt for Great­ness

NO PI­LOT is trained to fly only in fair weather. No pi­lot dreams of fly­ing with­out en­coun­ter­ing tur­bu­lence some­times. A life with­out chal­lenges is im­pos­si­ble. There are things you learn in tur­bu­lence that fair weather can never teach you. Tur­bu­lence has its op­por­tu­ni­ties and ben­e­fits. Tur­bu­lence is caused by a sud­den and some­times vi­o­lent change in the speed or di­rec­tion of the wind.

Some­times the tur­bu­lence can be se­vere or slight, but what­ever its tone, a good pi­lot will sur­vive it. What­ever hap­pens, if you did your flight checks and you know what you are do­ing, you are con­fi­dent that you will sail through the storm. Tough times are not the times to give up, for­get your in­stru­ments, throw tantrums, think like a vic­tim and lose your mind. Tur­bu­lent times are ter­ri­ble times to stop try­ing and turn into a vic­tim.

In se­vere tur­bu­lence, the air­craft may fail to re­spond to all the on-board con­trols. This is where ex­pe­ri­ence and men­tal for­ti­tude kicks in. What worked in the past will not work all the time. Yes­ter­day is a poor pre­dic­tor of fu­ture suc­cess. A good pi­lot man­ages the sit­u­a­tion as it is pre­vail­ing, not as he wishes it could be. The lux­ury of wish­ful think­ing is for those who are not fac­ing real dan­ger. See things as they are, not as you wish them to be. It is when the tur­bu­lence is great­est that the best of cap­tains rise to the oc­ca­sion and take the helm. Mas­tery is crafted in cru­cibles of tur­bu­lence.

It is when things are worst that you must not quit and re­sign to de­spair and de­spon­dency. Each sea­son you face is preg­nant with its unique set of op­por­tu­ni­ties and this mo­ment is not an ex­cep­tion.

Tur­bu­lence is a test of char­ac­ter, com­pe­tence and com­mit­ment. It tests the pedi­gree of a cap­tain and his crew. This is be­cause in life you never fly alone. Many peo­ple want change with­out what it en­tails. There is no great­ness at bar­gain prices. What­ever hap­pens, you never have the lux­ury of go­ing to sleep dur­ing tur­bu­lence. Wake up to strate­gic re­al­ity. Put on your strate­gic think­ing cap. Strat­egy is not a doc­u­ment, but a game plan. Re­view the sen­si­tiv­ity of your or­gan­i­sa­tion to the winds you are fac­ing. Stay alert, re­flect of­ten and keep think­ing. Re­spond to the cur­rent waves, but keep your strate­gic fo­cus.

You have to see be­yond the clouds of de­spair be­cause above those heavy clouds, the sun is shin­ing. The tur­bu­lence shall soon pass and you do not have the lux­ury to play with­out a strat­egy when it mat­ters most. You have got to gave a game plan in or­der to win any game. Choose where you will play to win, and how you will win. Be clear about your core, stim­u­late that core and be ready to play. Do not box the wind be­cause it has its own mind and it shall pass. Think about the model you will use to play within a chang­ing field and what forces are likely to dis­rupt you.

In tur­bu­lence, think se­ri­ously about your mo­bil­i­sa­tion strat­egy. Change will al­ways come and your re­sponse to change is your mo­bil­i­sa­tion ef­fort. Mo­bil­i­sa­tion al­lows you to clar­ify what is hap­pen­ing, how it af­fects you and how you will mar­shal your team and part­ners to work to­gether to out­live the tur­bu­lence.

Mo­bil­i­sa­tion, done well, al­lows you to strengthen your core, fo­cus your en­ergy, still your nerves and play to win. Mo­bilise early and keep up the ef­fort through­out the storm. Mo­bil­i­sa­tion spells out all the key as­pects of change. It is your own an­swer to the what, who, when, why and how of any change and tur­bu­lence. Mere hope with­out any ac­com­pa­ny­ing mo­bil­i­sa­tion leaves you vul­ner­a­ble, bit­ter and weak.

Start your mo­bil­i­sa­tion early and the tur­bu­lence you face will strengthen you, in­stead of killing you. If you ever faint in the day of bat­tle, you had lit­tle strength. Strengthen your fact-base and do not only lis­ten to the prophets of doom be­cause their gloomy fore­casts can be de­press­ing. Do not ex­clu­sively lis­ten to the apos­tles that see, hear and say no evil. Read the sit­u­a­tion and make up your own mind. Be will­ing to look at the bru­tal facts and not lose hope that you will pre­vail in time.

Tur­bu­lence am­pli­fies risk and un­for­tu­nately, the op­tion of a sud­den land­ing be­cause of tur­bu­lence is not al­ways avail­able. Aim­less run­ning am­pli­fies your dan­ger and in­creases your risk. This is why safety of­fi­cers ad­vise that dur­ing a fire, you should walk and not run. Sol­diers ad­vise that dur­ing tur­bu­lence and when vis­i­bil­ity is low, do not shoot on au­to­matic. Knee-jerk strate­gies could lead to your own am­pu­ta­tion.

Tur­bu­lence does not mean that you should give up and that your jour­ney has come to its sud­den end. It is part of the vi­cis­si­tudes of the jour­ney. While tur­bu­lence brings risk, it is also an op­por­tu­nity to pro­pel for­ward. It is an op­por­tu­nity to get fit faster, prune what no longer serves you and strengthen your team, while sharp­en­ing your strate­gic fo­cus. Stop cry­ing, start think­ing and stick to the knit­ting un­til the deal is done. Iden­tify the crit­i­cal de­ci­sions that you have to make and take ac­tion. Tur­bu­lence ab­hors in­de­ci­sion. You can­not wait for sit­u­a­tions to de­cide them­selves while you re­sign to the in­firm hand of fate. Wait and see is not a strat­egy if you do not have your own game plan.

Clos­ing and go­ing for a long hol­i­day does not make that hol­i­day worth­while. Go­ing else­where fast may not al­ways be an op­tion be­cause in ev­ery place, there will al­ways be a tur­bu­lence movie avail­able for rent or show­ing in the neigh­bour­hood soon. Test your struc­tures to see if they can weather the storm. If they can­not, it is time to change, re­duce com­plex­ity and re­move the ex­cess dross. Clar­ify roles and pro­cesses. What­ever hap­pens, de­cide to make the most of any cri­sis and mo­ment of tur­bu­lence. A tur­bu­lent mo­ment is too pre­cious to waste.

Tur­bu­lence is real and make no mis­take, it af­fects peo­ple se­ri­ously and dif­fer­ently. Nev­er­the­less, meet­ing tur­bu­lence does not al­ways spell doom and gloom. Some­one once said we may all be in the hole but some of us are look­ing at the stars. It is not what hap­pens that mat­ters the most but the choices you make. The sky is not yet fall­ing. Tur­bu­lence comes and it is not your fault. It frus­trates, that is your choice. Just fas­ten your seat-belt, keep hope alive and re­alise that jump­ing off now is not an op­tion. Keep sight of the big idea and goal. Re­trace your path­way to your strate­gic tra­jec­tory. In ev­ery sit­u­a­tion, op­tions will al­ways be there. Strat­egy is about eval­u­at­ing your op­tions and choos­ing where you will place your big bets and make your big moves. The ques­tions that you ask de­ter­mine the ac­tions that you will take. What load do you need to lighten? Ex­cess bag­gage should never be car­ried to the fu­ture.

What­ever you carry up the moun­tain de­ter­mines how the climb will go. Car­ry­ing un­nec­es­sary bag­gage in­creases your per­sonal li­a­bil­ity. How will you re­fill the tank? You can­not run on empty for­ever. You need to build new ca­pac­ity to at­tack big­ger op­por­tu­ni­ties and play at a dif­fer­ent stage. You do not have the lux­ury to be left be­hind when the train pulls off the sta­tion. The time of tur­bu­lence is time to over­take the timid and to pass the slow with cau­tion. Ex­tend the lead and think deep into the fu­ture. Play to win not just to play. Keep do­ing what you know best and soon the fog will clear.

Think clearly

It is nor­mal to panic and to hear alarm bells ring. How­ever it is im­por­tant in the midst of any storm to think clearly and see be­yond the dust of the storm. Think with your mind and not with your feet, or any other part of your be­ing that is not de­signed for strate­gic thought. Watch closely the de­vel­op­ments but de­velop your own the­sis of the sit­u­a­tion and ini­ti­ate your mo­bil­i­sa­tion ef­forts early. Avoid the think­ing bias brought by his­tory, peo­ple and noise. Pre­pare for big and bold moves and de­ter­mine to be a game changer.

Pro­fes­sor Jim Collins wrote an in­spir­ing book that he en­ti­tled: “How the Mighty Fall — and Why Some Com­pa­nies Never Give In.” In this book he out­lines five stages that or­gan­i­sa­tions go through in their fall. The Stages are: Stage 1: Hubris born out of suc­cess. Stage 2: Undis­ci­plined pur­suit of more. Stage 3: De­nial of risk or peril. Stage 4: Grasp­ing for sal­va­tion. Stage 5: Ca­pit­u­la­tion to ir­rel­e­vance or death.

One could look at these stages as dis­eases. Tur­bu­lence is not the dis­ease, it just am­pli­fies the symp­toms. Mo­ments of tur­bu­lences are op­por­tu­ni­ties for re­flec­tion and clar­i­fy­ing think­ing and the essence of things. Look­ing at these Collins stages re­flect on which of these symp­toms you may be ex­hibit­ing.

Past suc­cess that is not build on fun­da­men­tals is just self-delu­sion. It is im­por­tant to face the bru­tal facts and take the hard de­ci­sions. You can­not move for­ward bur­dened by hubris. Hu­mil­ity is the courage to face the bru­tal re­al­i­ties and in need to press the re­set but­ton. Keep­ing face is not fac­ing facts. Clar­ify your strat­egy and shift re­sources to the things that mat­ter most and the stake­hold­ers that mat­ter most to you. You have to choose where to play and how to win. Base­less ego trips just am­plify the risk and dan­ger. Work on the core and de­velop the core. Get fit faster and drive out costs that do not help you build your value propo­si­tion.

Lighten the load

Car­ry­ing ex­cess bag­gage is a huge tax on the fu­ture. Dis­ci­pline is a core el­e­ment of suc­cess in and af­ter tur­bu­lence. Pur­su­ing more at all costs is a huge risk. Times of tur­bu­lence are an op­por­tu­nity for self-ex­am­i­na­tion and re­vis­it­ing the tra­di­tional deadly vices and how these may have af­flicted us. These vices are Gula (glut­tony), Lux­u­ria (lust), Avari­tia (avarice/greed), Su­per­bia (pride, hubris), Tris­ti­tia (sor­row/de­spair/ de­spon­dency), Ira (wrath), Vana­glo­ria (vain­glory), and Ace­dia (sloth).

Com­mit­ted to your great­ness. Mil­ton Kamwendo is a lead­ing in­ter­na­tional trans­for­ma­tional and mo­ti­va­tional speaker, au­thor, and ex­ec­u­tive coach. His life pur­pose is to in­spire and pro­mote great­ness. He can be reached at: mkamwendo@ gmail.com and Twit­ter: @Mil­tonKamwendo or What­sApp at: 0772422634. His web­site is: www. mil­tonkamwendo.com

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