I’ll give you a laugh! Below is an email I sent to my leadership team on 4th March (just over 2 weeks ago):
“Hi guys, can we, as a leadership team, monitor weekly and ongoing cancellations (if there are any) due to the Coronavirus. Can we please share on a Friday, along with Kristin’s normal report?”
You’ve got to love my optimism, or daft naivety – who knows. But on Friday, 20th March, just 16 days after sending this note, ExecSpace has received over 250 cancellations. Running a business can be brutal, it’s definitely not for the faint hearted but this situation is an absolute belter!!
I’m not going to lie. As a business owner, particularly in the events industry, the last couple of weeks have been tough. But we’ve come through some incredibly difficult situations in the past that at the time have felt unsurmountable and we’ll come through this one too. So, for what it’s worth, here’s how ExecSpace intend to not only survive this but ensure we emerge from this even stronger.
– As a leadership team, Kristin, Lou, Angela, Pamela and I will plan meticulously and remain laser focused on our strategy. We will get thoroughly under the skin of everything in the business from cash-flow, to client sentiment to cost base.
– Yes, we will react to the cancellations and the firefighting, but as important, we will make plans for the future and press ‘go’ on projects with the confidence this is temporary and the ‘norm’ will return.
– We will do the right thing by our clients – long term. This is just a short-term blip and we’re in it for the long run.
– We will support one another and acknowledge it’s ok to get upset/be scared. 90% of the time I feel empowered, in control and genuinely inspired by the challenge, 10% of the time I wish I could run away and hide.
– I will look after my team, regardless of how tough it gets. I have and always will literally do whatever it takes to protect my good guys. As leaders we should hold our nerve to ensure our loyal staff are looked after/protected and to ensure from a business perspective we have the very best team servicing our clients when the current situation passes.
– We will not waste energy worrying about the stuff we can’t control – that’s nuts. We will conserve our energy to focus on the stuff we can impact and control.
– In the evenings and weekends, we’ll give our heads a rest and try and watch anything other than the news. Corrie is very good just now.
– We will keep this business stuff in perspective. Yes, this is very difficult for the business community, particularly our industry, but it is just business/money and COVID-19 is killing people.
And that’s all we can do. We have a tough few weeks/months ahead but it’s amazing what can be achieved with resilience, a great team, optimism and a properly executed plan.
So, as the weekend approaches, let’s take comfort from the hard work, plans put in place and teamwork over the past 5 days, have a happy time with our families and be ready to come back full of fight on Monday. We should take advantage of the rare opportunity to pause, take stock, grow and really think about where we’re going and what can be achieved in the future.
Stay safe and look after one another. If there is anything ExecSpace can do to support please don’t hesitate to get in touch. As per Government advice the team have now been fully set up to work from home. As a reminder – you can find everyone’s contact details here – www.execspace.co.uk/our-people.