What do the Oil Spill, the Recession and Your Business Have in Common?

Having lived along the US Gulf Coast several times, I have more than a passing interest in the oil spill. The unstoppable surge of leaking crude is threatening wildlife, tourism, commerce and lives for thousands of miles. From Louisiana to Florida, everyone is preoccupied with the story. It has captured the nation’s, and now the world’s attention for weeks.

Here are some observations on the crisis from listening, watching and reading the media reports. It seems it took the government weeks to act decisively. First there was the usual finger-pointing. Blaming everyone for lax regulations, poor leadership and inactivity in a crisis. “It was the fault of big business out of control,” they said. We need a federal rescue. Then the government stepped in and offered to save the day. The President said he is in charge and will get the leak stopped. But things aren’t really getting any better.

I could either be talking about the oil spill or the recession. Or maybe I could be talking about the money gushing out of your business. When your company is in trouble…and leaking customers, you do the same thing. You don’t act decisively, you point fingers, you blame someone with more power than you (your competition, the government, God, the devil, or a bigger business), you ask for public assistance and things just seem to get worse. Stupid customers! Stupid competition! Stupid assistance! Stupid…!
Maybe you should look at how you react to the spill, the dip, the flood away from you. Maybe the best reaction is the way you are looking at the problem.

Last week the US stock market took the biggest one day loss in history. It also had a major gain the same week. Get used to it. Gasoline prices once moved a penny each week and it made news. They now move five to ten cents overnight…and we have gotten used to it. We don’t like it, but we get used to it and move on. Good advice, quit whining and start moving on.

You are either contributing to the problem or solving it. Every crisis presents an opportunity. See the ultimate, not the immediate. Act now to make a difference from those panicking around you. Don’t let a good crisis go to waste.

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