How Well Do You Take A Punch?

I was talking to a friend who has been displaced because of Sandy. They are struggling to get back to their daily routine and it is hard living out of a suitcase without access to the things they rely on from day to day.

I was talking to the CEO of a company whose business was negatively impacted by Sandy. They are struggling to get the business back to where it was before the hurricane.

One is a personal thing. The other is a work thing. But they are the same thing. Life punches you in the face and you might get knocked out. The question is can you get back up and keep going.

The best entrepreneurs do this well. They can take a hit and keep moving forward. And they can rally their teams to do the same thing. That latter point is so important. If the leader is down for the count, the team doesn't have a chance. But if the leader is up and moving forward, with passion and committment to the goal, then the team will follow.

Sometimes a crisis is a good thing for a company. Recovering from a knockout punch often requires heroic efforts from the team. I have seen engineers get things built in a week that might take a quarter under normal circumstances. I have seen sales teams bring in business that kept the company afloat at the last minute. These heroic efforts can energize an organization and give it new life.

Normal operating conditions can lead to an organization getting fat and happy. A crisis can shake things loose that need to be shaken loose. I would not suggest an entrepreneur manufacture a crisis when one does not exist. But when one comes along, I would suggest seeing it as an opportunity not a problem. Because the best entrepreneurs and the best companies can take a punch and keep going. It is a defining trait of winning teams.