Leaks, Misalignments and Blessings

This was one of those weeks where if something could go wrong, it did.

I had a leak from our bathroom into our living room. Four plumbers have been to my house trying to diagnose the problem. I finally may have a solution but the test comes tomorrow when we see if the repair holds water.

Then I had two flat tires on the way to work. Two, not one and it was caused from my car being out of alignment. Yet through it all, I could only think about those poor souls in the Philippines and the unimaginable hardships that they have to survive. It makes my first world problem seem like a mere scratch compared to the challenges they face.

Aligning Your Perspective
This week’s headaches reminded me of an important business lesson that is so easy to forget. You have to keep perspective in your daily life or it is easy to get pulled into the emergency of the moment that is really just a minor bump in the road.

Taking a Breath
I get emails from marketing professionals who are in a ‘semi-panic’ mode over a problem they are facing and asking for my opinion. In almost all cases, the first thing I advise them to do is to take a deep breath. Yes, just breathe. Bring some oxygen into your body and get yourself calm and centered. It is very hard to gain perspective and make good decisions when you are stressed and not thinking clearly.

All of this makes me realize what an important role being calm has in the world of marketing. The CMO who is in frenzy-mode all the time and jumping from problem to problem sends the signal to her team that chaos reigns. 

A calm leader takes apart a problem, carefully works through the situation, develops an action plan and assigns tasks.

How do you react to problems? 

Here are some tips for the marketing professional:

1. Do you have the presence of mind to step back and truly understand the situation? Can you describe the real problem you are trying to solve?

2. Are you over reacting to others emotional outburst, stress and worry or are you listening to truly understand the circumstances?

3. Do you respond so quickly to fix the situation that you are really just throwing fuel on the fire?

4. Have you even taken a breath in the last 10 minutes or are you just jumping into the stress pool, and not making a well-reasoned decision? 

Marketing professionals need balance and a strong center to be effective. They need to sift through many requests and incoming demands and to calmly develop an action plan that address central problems. In many of the conversations I have with marketing folks, I often think they aren't clear what problem they are trying to solve.

Plugging the Leak

This week I knew that I had to fix a leaking tub, I had to replace some bad tires and I knew that I had to sit back and count my blessing.  Getting upset wasn't going to help me with any of these tasks.

Now, take three deep breathes and start from a place of calm to deal with your marketing challenges. It is just stuff. 

Notes: If you enjoy my posts, would you share it with your marketing friends? And check out my new book on Amazon. At $2.99 it is a great value. 21 useful lessons based on my marketing experiences. A paperback version will be published in a few weeks for those who like to hold a book in their hands. 

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