May 6, 2021

Adviser Hit By Tornado!

I cherish my comfortable routine.
Don’t you?

The rhythm of life we’ve constructed to make sense of the often-stressful, sometimes-grinding, always-exhausting energy we expend… in order to uphold our rhythm of life.

I tend to get rattled when that rhythm is disturbed.

And there are some evenings in that weekly rhythm that I cherish more than others.

As a teenager, it was Friday evening.
The few breathless hours that held untold vistas of emotionally rich, heart-pumping, daring possibilities.

And, no matter how the weekend actually panned out (with its mixture of laughing memories and anti-climax)…
…the next Friday evening felt just as exciting as it ever did.

(To be honest, Friday evenings still feel like that.)

But in these long-life-lived days, by Sunday, I’m aching for calm and peace and more gentle conversations.

What I’m not expecting is to receive WhatsApp photos of total, eye-boggling devastation from my brother!

Which is precisely what disturbed our reverie this Sunday.

Pictures showing his mid-western-states homestead.
Reduced to boards and matchsticks.

Garage, barn, chicken coop, other animal stuff.

Wiped out by a tornado!
A real, honest-to-goodness, this-is-not-the-movies tornado.

Bits of their home decorations landing in the fields of neighbours at least one mile away.
(Now, remember, their back gardens tend to measure at least 30 acres. At least!)

Luckily, his mother-in-law built a sturdier house on the same homestead.
With a big basement.
So, there’s room there for both families.

And you thought YOU had problems this week!

Our businesses – boutique or bigger – are a mixture of that rhythm.
And, potentially, that homestead.

Designed to perform and produce and provide.
But, too often, not to last.

Then we get hit by the tornadoes.

New ideas.
Rising competition.

And our routine – our this-is-how-we’ve-always-built-our-place thinking – is tested to ripping point.

If your priority is focused on Performance and Productivity…
You’re going to struggle to hold the pieces together.
When the tornado hits you.

If your priority is the development and growth of your People…
They’ll rally round. They’ll sacrifice to rise above the turmoil and chaos.
They’ll invent new ways to be stronger, smarter, more creative.

That’s what I’ve observed during decades of observing.

The choice is ours.

Because (paraphrasing a line from ‘Field of Dreams’)…
“The tornado will come, Ray.
The tornado will most definitely come.”

And the survive-and-thrive question will be…
“What Bits Will Your Neighbour Find in Their Garden?”