Big Red Car here. Going to be a great next 10 days — bright, sunny, hot. We will be dancing with 100F from here on out. And what a dance it will be, ya’ll.
The Boss was chatting with one of his CEO clients and the CEO was weaving a tale of some element in his firmament that had gone awry.
The Boss was completely surprised to see the visceral reaction that this turn of events had created in his otherwise steady and calm CEO.
Before we go any further in this discussion, let’s establish an immutable intellectual benchmark — shit happens.
Shit happens in business and our personal lives which is not welcome, expected or good. It happens to everyone. If you are surprised something has happened to you — well welcome to the human race, Old Sport.
You are not being singled out for special treatment, you have just established that the randomness of life has pulled your number. “Shit sandwich for table #12?”
Get over it. Deal with it. Don’t panic. But don’t let it do more damage than is absolutely avoidable.
You are a CEO
Being a CEO means that the buck stops with you. You know who you are: “I am responsible for everything that happens or fails to happen with this company.” That is you, my friend. That is the essential job description of every CEO in the world.
Naturally the gods of business are going to test you from time to time. That is how they decide whether to reward you or not — how you react to challenges. They call this entertainment, you call it life. Same game, different names.
Sometimes these challenges are personal and maybe even a bit small minded. The most important decision you will ever make in business will be the people with whom you do business. The people with whom you associate. Make a D- decision on this one and you will pay a price until you can correct it.
Know also that as a CEO folks will put a coat of polish on your apple from time to time and then things will change and they will stick a worm in your apple.
Forewarned is forearmed.
What to do
When you meet with the disaster element of the “triumph and disaster” tandem, face it up. Take it to the mat. Do not take it personal. Deal with it. [OK, take a minute to moan and feel sorry for yourself. Now stop it already. Hey, Big Red Car, you are brutal. Brutal.]
The Boss has always had an odd sense of humor as it relates to this matter of dealing with adversity.
First, he believes with conviction — the kind of conviction usually demonstrated by monks who have taken a vow of silence, poverty, chastity (two out of three for ya’ll, Grasshopper?) and who live in Los Angeles — that the slights and slings and arrows we suffer in life are the fuel we use to propel future success. Bet against a short guy with a lisp? Not if you’re smart. That guy might just conquer the world.
Never let the bastards see you sweat. On a personal level keep a smile on your face and conduct your affairs with sweetness and light never allowing your antagonists to see you even react to their silliness. It really irritates them and they will break out in boils. [OK, the boils part may not happen right away but the Big Red Car is on your side and they may deserve to break out in boils, no?]
Do not fall prey to negative energy
We all have a limited amount of energy. What we invest that energy in determines the outcomes of our lives. Invest it in positive enterprises doing stuff, changing the world — good outcomes. Invest it in exacting revenge or getting even or even talking smack — bad outcomes.
The nature of the energy we invest — positive v negative — colors our personalities and makes us who we are. Do not fall prey to investing in negative energy even when it feels a bit unnatural or awkward at first.
Here is what Rudyard Kipling had to say on the subject:
Are there times that you should go to the mat and right a grievous wrong — Hell yes. But don’t sweat the small stuff, the kind of stuff that just weakens you and saps your life force and lowers you to the level of the folks you do not want to associate with in life. Do not do it, Old Sport. Do not live in the Empire of Hate.
The power of prayer
The Big Red Car does not usually go too spiritual on ya’ll. Not that the Big Red Car is not spiritual. Just that there are some things that are best left alone in the business of pontificating. But the Big Red Car wants to nudge you toward the power of prayer.
Prayer is a dialogue with God — you pick your God, I’ll pick mine — in which you ask for His guidance and strength to get you through a tough situation. And, Old Sport, a bit of gratitude might be in order when He comes through for you. All you are asking for is for Him to awaken the talents He has so generously endowed you with coupled with a splash of free will to use them in His service. Not the high hurdles, Old Sport.
Do not be afraid to get down on your knees and appeal for a bit of guidance. You will be glad you did. Trust me. What have you got to lose?
Now, Old Sport, get out there and deal with things. Confound your persecutors with your positive attitude and forgiving grace. This will really screw up their minds and it will free up all of your positive energy to do good, to conquer the world. See you on the high ground, Grasshopper.