Summer is fantastic. But also often quite disruptive.
Many of the CEOs I work with find that business gets a little bumpy over summer. Routines slip. Sales pipelines slip. People go on holiday (how dare they!) and however smooth (or not) the business was before, it’s a little bumpier now.
And invariably, there’s a bit of “where did we go wrong?”, or “we’ll have to try harder in September when everyone’s back”.
Two things spring to mind (pardon the pun).
First, you can usually predict when summer’s going to happen. It’s almost always…
no, scrub that. It actually is always just after spring. It kicks into action from a work perspective in July, and ramps up massively in August.
So you can plan for it. Plan for fewer people around. Plan for customers making slower decisions. Plan for heat (increasingly). Plan what work will flex, and what needs to keep going. Then only do the latter.
But second, stop thinking its a bad aberration, or you’re doing badly.
This reminds me of when I started to meditate about a decade ago. I always thought it was about having an empty mind (yes, I know I have little between my ears at the best of times, and so this should be easier for me). It took me a while to realise that actually, emptiness would only be fleeting, and it was about practicing and getting good at coming back to stillness.
It’s accepting my mind would stray onto something, and then just coming back to the breath.
We’re not imperfect because things have gone ropey for a while. That’s what it is to do a project. That’s what it is to run a business. That’s what it is to be married or be a parent.
That’s what it is to be human.
So first, accept that this is OK. And that we don’t need to beat ourselves up, but simply practice comping back to Business as Usual.
What makes our businesses special, what makes our leadership special, what makes our humanity special is not perfection, but that we consistently accept and find the road back when things haven’t gone to plan (whatever that was).
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