Unplanned events

Aug 30, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-05-18 at 9.35.39 AMAs the bumper sticker says, "Shit Happens." Unfortunately, it rarely occurs at the ideal time. Problems crop up that you didn't anticipate – health problems, a parent dies, a key employee quits, divorce, IRS audits – there are many bad things that CAN and DO happen that are not within your control. What you can control is your response to these things. That's what I want to talk about today.
  1. Stay calm. ‎Cool heads prevail. If you get emotional you cannot think properly and you won't get the reaction you want from others. Don't let that happen to you.
  1. Start by figuring out what your desired outcome is. Whatever happened has happened. Now what do you want to happen next? That's what you need to know or it probably won't happen.
  2. Write down your ideas and options. I do it all in my phone. You may do it on a notebook. Or you could do it on‎ your computer. Don't be too judgmental too early. You want ideas here.
  1. Make a decision. Ideas and options are great but you have to make a decision. Maybe some of these have a lower risk of failure than others. Or maybe some have a very low cost if they do fail. These may be some of the first things you want to try.
  1. Take action!‎ Nothing good happens until you make it happen. You have to take action. All the positive thinking, ideas and options won't do you any good without action. It is only through action that you will rebuild your confidence.
  1. See if you achieve your desired outcome. Evaluation to determine success or failure is crucial to your ultimate success or failure in how you dealt with the problem.
  1. If you aren't happy with the decision, make a new decision‎. This is what my dad calls "decide-act."
  1. Repeat steps 5, 6, and 7 until you achieve your desired outcome.
  1. If things don't work out, remember that this, too, shall pass. Nothing is permanent. Everything is temporary. You will get through whatever it is you're going through. That's life! Nothing good, or bad, lasts forever.

Mark Zweig is Zweig Group’s founder and CEO. Contact him at mzweig@zweiggroup.com.

This article is from issue 1159 of The Zweig Letter. Interested in more management advice every week from Mark Zweig, the Zweig Group team, and a talented list of other guest writers? Click here for to get a free trial of The Zweig Letter.

About Zweig Group

Zweig Group, three times on the Inc. 500/5000 list, is the industry leader and premiere authority in AEC firm management and marketing, the go-to source for data and research, and the leading provider of customized learning and training. Zweig Group exists to help AEC firms succeed in a complicated and challenging marketplace through services that include: Mergers & Acquisitions, Strategic Planning, Valuation, Executive Search, Board of Director Services, Ownership Transition, Marketing & Branding, and Business Development Training. The firm has offices in Dallas and Fayetteville, Arkansas.