Most businesses are struggling to get workers. We’re trying to figure out how to find the right talent and how to keep the workers we have in the midst of the Great Resignation. This is a real struggle that companies and leaders are facing, but it’s not the only one. Even before the labor shortage and the pandemic, struggle in business was real; it just might have looked a little different. As a leader, it’s important to remember that there is opportunity in the struggle.
It’s a principle for life—anytime there is struggle, there is also opportunity. Here are some tips to help you if you are overwhelmed by the struggle right now.
1. Your mindset matters
There are many examples of how your mindset impacts your perspective and ultimately what you are able to accomplish.
One classic story used to illustrate this point is the story of the two shoe salesman. The story goes that a shoe company was looking to expand their market into Africa so they sent two salesmen to gauge the potential for business. The first salesman sent a message back to the company saying “There is no market for us here. No one wears any shoes.” The second salesman responded to the company with a message saying “There is a huge market here. No one has any shoes.”
The two salesmen experienced the exact same situation but had two drastically different perspectives. One saw the struggle and the other saw the opportunity. Be the one who chooses to see the opportunity.
Your mindset matters as a leader. It’s your responsibility to look past the struggle and find the opportunities that exist. If you’re able to do that, everything begins to change.
2. Learn to pivot
When March of 2020 hit, businesses were faced with a decision. We could either choose to do our best scraping along and trying to save what we could of our existing plan for the year, or, we could choose to pivot. At SPEARity we quickly put together free webinars to help business leaders move from panic to pivot.
The businesses that were able to pivot and look for the new opportunities instead of focusing on all that was lost and out of their control were the ones that came through the pandemic the strongest.
Knowing when to pivot and following through on it shouldn’t only be something we do when it feels like the world is falling apart. It’s an important skill to work on developing as a leader. You should be constantly analyzing the situation in your business to see where the opportunities are so you can pivot as needed and before it’s too late.
3. Focus on the needs of your customers
When new struggles present themselves in a community or industry, it may change what your customers want and need. If you only stick to your current plan and what needs they used to have, you will miss the opportunity to fulfill their current needs. And, if you’re not meeting their needs, they will be forced to find another company that will.
Stay in touch with the reality of what your customers need right now. What is their current struggle? When you focus on that it helps you identify where the opportunity is to help them.
4. Get an outside perspective
You’ve probably heard the saying, “You can’t see the forest for the trees.” Sometimes as a leader, it’s easy to get caught up in all the details. You may be too close to the struggle right now to spot the opportunity on your own. You need to learn how to step back and look at the big picture. This is when you can begin to see the way the different pieces fit together and what is the next best move.
Talk to other leaders within your company. Ask your employees for their opinions and ideas. Partner with another business owner to share perspectives on each other’s companies. Work with a mentor or business coach who can share their perspective from the outside looking into the situation. We truly are better together.
5. Step out of your comfort zone
When struggle presents itself, you have to stretch outside of your comfort zone. What you’ve always done, isn’t going to continue working because the situation and details have changed. It requires you to work harder and continue to figure things out.
This may also mean it’s time to learn some new skills or provide your team with additional training. New situations require a new way of thinking and working. Look for gaps in skills and knowledge and work to fill them in yourselves and others. You will all be better for doing so, which will make the company better as a whole.
These are the things it takes to succeed and begin to take advantage of the opportunities that come out of the struggle. If you are struggling right now, block some time on your calendar to step back, shift your perspective, and look for the opportunities that are presenting themselves.
If you want guidance and support through the process, contact a SPEARity coach today to get explore the best options for you or your company.