In parts of Australia, shit is hitting the fan. In other parts of Australia, fans are hitting the footy.
NSW is somewhere in between. Both geographically and metaphorically.
I spoke with a friend of mine who runs a Melbourne based business on how he’s dealing with going into lockdown. Ben has been running his business for 15 years. He employs 150 staff across his group of companies, and he has offices in NSW, Queensland, South Australia, Wellington, New Plymouth and Victoria- where he is based. His turnover last year was $7.5m. He gave me some great food for thought.
If you run a business, or a team of people, or are in charge of your own mind, some of our conversation will probably make you feel less alone, and other parts will make you feel like you need to get your shit together and prepare more.
His learnings from the first lockdown
· He spent 4 weeks feeling sorry for himself.
· Grand plans to entirely transform his business didn’t come off.
· One key project that had been talked about for years did.
· He came out of the first lockdown fit, healthy and happy, and hopes to do the same again.
· He still reckons he didn’t handle it well.
How he prepared for lockdown 2.
· No specific exercise that he completed when the Vic/NSW border closed.
· He had documented contingency plans in late May, when people were getting back into offices, covering what to do if he (owner and director of the business) got Covid, a team member of his got Covid, a member of the building he was in got Covid, or if a customer that his team interacted with got Covid.
· He diversified his business by opening a call centre in Melbourne and opening an office in Brisbane to service his clients
· He constantly had his negative hat on- he was not willing to be caught unawares by Covid again, so has been asking since May “what if this (terrible thing) happens?”
· 4 weeks of feeling sorry for himself and turned it around into fit healthy and happy, so he did well the first time around.
· He’s extremely conscious of providing calm, reassuring leadership to his team.
· Thinks his team could forgive him for reducing salaries once, but not a second time
· Thinks this quote is irresponsible and a bit tone deaf, especially for working parents who are looking after their kids:
· He is looking into setting a team exercise goal with the reward for hitting it being a donation to charity and a small individual bonus
What struck me most about our conversation was his commitment to being organised for his business. Some of our chat made me feel like I had done some things well. Other parts of it made me feel like I needed to get my shit together.