It’s What You Do In The Storm

Gauging people is tough. Most people present well in perfect conditions. Many people look great on paper for perfect conditions but the team you want is the team you’d take with you in the storm — because there will be a storm.

I don’t want the person who’s good in calm waters — I want the person who can manage, navigate, collaborate and cooperate with their teammates in rough water.

I want the person that you know will be there and can hold the line for their job to be a stable terminal for others when things get hairy.

That’s who I want and that’s who I want to be for my teammates.

When you look at who’s on your team or who you’re looking to bring on — do you have people that you fully trust to weather any storm? Will they be there, shoulder to shoulder until you make it through, or will they buckle, complain, become a problem and be unreliable in the midst of it?

This is important because in business, you’re going to hit various stages – some calm, smooth sailing and some rough, high seas with torrential downpour…

Ultimately, the difference comes down to how you execute and that comes down to who you have on board.

You must be absolutely certain that the team members you have are people you can trust in any condition. This can mean the difference between success and failure.

I’ve always been inspired by entrepreneurs or business people that’ve pulled off incredible feats and shown time and time again that they can weather any storm and have managed to compose teams that can do the same.

People like Elon Musk, who seems to excel through problems and has proven time and time again that he can navigate through some of the toughest situations. Lou Gerstner, ex-CEO of IBM who accomplished an insurmountable task of having to turn around the company from an almost inevitable demise, and Jeff Bezos, who’s turned what could have easily been a dot com bust into one of the most powerful and useful companies around.

Take lessons from people like that, people who’ve been forced to navigate through the most horrible conditions and made it to the calm after the storm.

Be wary of those that fall to pieces when things get rough. Watch for them and remove them as soon as possible. They’ll wreak havoc through your company from their panic and instability and they’ll end up destabilizing people who would’ve otherwise weathered the storm just fine.

Scrutinize your team not based on perfect conditions but on the worst conditions. What will they be like when things get tough? Can they pull through? Can they lead others? Can they be a calming influence when needed most?

I’d caution you to only build a team of those people. The people that you trust to take straight in and through the storm because one day you’ll have to and when you do, you’ll be happy you have the right team on board.

— Robert

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