The Future has Happened

leadership performance Oct 14, 2020

It’s becoming very clear now that there is no “new normal” just around the corner.  The situation we are in now is the future – messy, uncertain and threatening both for individuals and businesses. 

Now is the moment for choices and for facing reality.  That’s a very hard thing to do – our tendency is to hang in there and see if things improve.  But now, more than ever, people need to recognise when their company or their job can no longer survive. A few pointers: 

  • The money has run out
  • Your creditors are hammering at the door
  • Your customers are not paying their bills
  • You are still technically employed but have not done any work for months
  • You are working in an area that has been destroyed by Covid
  • Your industry (retail, hospitality, the high street) was failing pre-Covid

One of my regrets as a leader is letting companies go on when they should have been shut down.  Why do we do this? 

Because the human race would not have survived without hope:

  • “The market will change”
  • “The government will support us”
  • “I remember x and y who didn’t give up, and in the end they turned the corner”
  • “We’ve got a great idea/product/team/position/ “(delete as applicable)

It’s a very natural reaction, but in the end it causes more damage to everyone.

Now is the time to look at the hard facts and make the decision to move on. 

This is important because the longer you leave it the harder and messier it will be in the end.  Get some sensible advice to help you minimise the loss and to move on with as much dignity as you can.  The way to do that is to be honest both with yourself and with your stakeholders.   If you are a leader then look after your people, your family, your customers, your suppliers and your investors as much as you can.  Do not lie or prevaricate, especially not to yourself.  Salvage what you can and move on.  In the end it will be better for everyone.

Pat Chapman-Pincher.  4th October 2020