When Times Are Tough

When times are tough everyone says, “You gotta work hard. Work­ing hard is cru­cial, espe­cially in an increas­ingly com­pet­i­tive and permanently changing envi­ron­ment.” To me it sounds bizarre. How can it be that sometimes you have to work hard and other times not so hard or maybe in some occasions work just a bit??? I’d say that you always have to work smart. That’s actually why we are called human beings.

Let’s take sailing as an example. It definitely seems easy to sail windward (downwind) but it’s not always the case. In fact, you almost never sail windward. But here is what you do: you study the laws of nature, create the tools and methodology that help you navigate through the different wind conditions, acquire needed skills and finally enjoy the ride. You can become so skilled that you can even sail leeward (against the wind) by raising a few correctly angled sails.

Facing tough times can be comparable to facing leeward. Using the same sailing approach we should study the laws of nature and multiple examples it teaches us. These laws clearly show us that when we cooperate and unite around the goal we are able to achieve wonders. In the end it all comes down to teamwork.

Think Team­work… Think Integral

Real team­work takes lead­er­ship and inspiration, and it begins at the top. It might seem basic, but too often the lack of clear guidance and preparation can impair teamwork.

Almost every company is comprised of many small teams. Each team needs to work effec­tively, with all the teams mov­ing together as one in a com­mon strate­gic direc­tion. This requires a leader to foster a culture of collaboration, openness, sharing and empowerment. A com­mon vision and direc­tion must be com­mu­ni­cated to every­ single employee with no exceptions.

No team or com­pany is perfect, there are always areas that need improve­ment. Leaders shouldn’t be afraid to pull their people out of the cubicles, gather them together and go through unifying experiences using proven scientific methodology. In fact, they should be fearful of not doing it. Bring­ing peo­ple together breaks down bar­ri­ers and creates a cohesive and productive environment with an atmosphere of trust, confidence, energy and creativity. Peo­ple should often meet face to face and tackle the problems or brain­storm solu­tions. Everyone must work together to solve key issues that impact the company’s bottom line and find ways to exceed customer expec­ta­tions.

It might take time, but if the leaders approach to their team integrally soon they and their people will notice that their life has changed, that success of the company becomes their success and vice versa. It is worth adding that this becomes fun and a rare win-win situation for all.