We all know the All Blacks epitomize great team play and great team support – even on those rare occasions when they lose a game or, even more infrequently, lose a couple. We also know the mainstream media outcry that accompanies these events. Headlines chorus ‘where has it all gone wrong’ and opinion pieces call for the coach to be sacked – if the media coverage was taken at face value an observer might think the All Blacks had never won a game.
So too with media stories about business. Our Autumn Pulse Check showed that mainstream media stories continue to undermine business confidence, which although still high, has started to fray. Motivation for some business owners was also failing while others reported they were actively looking for support. How then can a business owner keep an eye on the environment and current affairs and not be overwhelmed by the gloomy headlines?
The first thing to remember is that conflict and controversy are the drivers of mainstream media stories. For the most part they are designed to trigger emotions as part of the art of hooking the reader in – a bit like getting the ball out of the scrum – so if you are constantly scanning headlines life will seem worse than it actually is.
Next, stay focused on your business. Remember what you do well and don’t let the noise around you affect the way you regard your business and your employees. When the All Blacks take a roasting the coaches know they must focus on the wellbeing of the players and, when everyone is seemingly under attack, support each other through the stormy coverage.
Of course there is still ongoing coverage of the pandemic – and rightly so. This now includes commentary about moving into a ‘new normal’ but we are not there yet. We are still operating in an environment of unexpected events triggered by the ongoing pandemic which means as business owners, looking after our staff, our customers, our families and communities, we too need to put ourselves in a supportive environment.
Over the last twelve months, many of our boards have become that safe haven with members able to help each other, sharing the lessons learnt so far and, together, working through solutions to deal with the unexpected and rapid change. Onboard a plane, the emergency drill always instructs passengers to put their oxygen mask on first before helping others. In business we should follow that advice but seldom do. Find that supportive environment, take time to shut out the noise of headlines, take a break in the day to focus on your own wellbeing so dealing with the increasing stressors becomes easier and manageable.