Whether or not you are a fan of President Obama’s new stimulus package, it is easy to admire how quickly he and his team reacted in an attempt to rev up the economy. Many times action, even if not precisely the proper formula, can start a chain of events during which many keen minds weigh in. Suddenly, a pretty good idea becomes great. Everyone buys in philosophically, ultimately resulting in success. It is going to take that kind of synergy to bust out of this cycle of fear, second-guessing and lethargy that is front-page news. What appeals to me about many of our great leaders today, and those throughout history, is their positive, motivating message.
My oldest daughter, Adrienne, has a rather large wooden sign in her bathroom she reads every morning before leaving home for college: “Never, never, never give up.” Winston Churchill’s quote conjures a vivid image of him stepping through the bombed-out rubble of his beloved London after so many raids by the Germans during the early years of World War II. A more recent example of fortitude, for those much younger, is by Lance Armstrong, the record-setting, seven-time champion of the grueling Tour de France. Armstrong said: “It is in the steep hills when the lead changes. Once we are on flat ground everyone maintains their position in the race.” I contend that we are in the steepest hills, economically speaking, of our careers. The business moves we make now will ultimately shape how we will grow when normalcy returns.
While we are all watching costs – not a bad idea even in good times – none of us can afford to lose ground. For that reason, it is more important than ever to promote your business, put additional emphasis on service to your customers, and avoid cutting corners. Doing those things will help you maintain your reputation as someone who does it right, and you will find you will further separate yourself and your business from the competition. Above all else, never, never, never give up!