369 | Adapt or Reinvent?

Let me ask you a question as one leader to another one: Have you been struggling with this economic downturn and you’ve been asking yourself some tough questions as a leader? Questions are CRUCIAL, and I’m here to help you navigate those questions, and hopefully give you some answers to them as well!

We have decided to update how we do our podcast shows! Introducing our new videos along with our normal audio podcasts. We hope these videos give you something to look forward to each week.

Hop on over and listen to the first part of our two-part series podcast, Adapting or Reinventing?


For full transcript, continue reading here:

Welcome to the Chris LoCurto show where we discuss leadership and life and discover that business is what you do, not who you are.

Hi folks, welcome to the show. And today’s show looks a little bit different and when I say looks a little bit different, if you are listening to the podcast, then we’re also doing this on video. So, um, for those of you that love to listen to it while you’re on your phone, or I was gonna say on your radio, but we don’t show up on your radio. If you love to listen to it in the podcast app, that is great. But we’re also now attempting to record these things and put these on clo.tv. So if you’ve not been to the, uh, the video channel, the YouTube channel, that is C L O. TV and you should be able to find this there. So as we talk through this today, like I say, it’s going to look a little bit different, uh, as we talk through this process of this, this episode of adapting or reinventing.

So, uh, the things I wanted to talk about today are the kind of the current state of our country now. Uh, we’ve been through some interesting times lately and right now we’re starting to see, well, depending upon where you are, uh, I can tell you where we are. Um, we actually have had probably more people that have not really been freaked out and really focused on, uh, being stressed about COVID19. We have plenty of folks that have been, but for the most part here in Tennessee where we are, uh, people have actually been out and about. A lot of people who have been to work. Um, you know, we have been, we’ve been working for a little while and we are keeping our distance. I’m saying that for the recording right now. Uh, seriously, we’ve not been that freaked out. We’ve not been that concerned.

I know a lot of you who have also seen the recent stats and for those of you that are business owners and leaders, a lot of you are probably wondering what in the world is going on, why is this happening? Well, we’re not going to talk through that. Today is not going to be an episode on why we have bad decisions that are affecting so much of this country. Instead, we’re going to be talking about what do we do about it. This is something that we did not bring on. This is not something that we decided, this is not something that, uh, those of us that are business owners or leaders, uh, all gathered together and said, “Hey, we want to shut down all of our businesses. You know, we wanna, we wanna, you know,” and obviously a lot of people didn’t shut down completely, but a lot of folks did.

Um, we didn’t ask for this. So now what do we do? So we’re going to kind of talk about that. You’ve probably noticed a lot of the businesses around you, especially those that are retail businesses have made some really good adjustments. Uh, you can see some of the curbside pickups. Um, some other folks are doing a lot of delivery of course restaurants. Uh, I don’t know what, I’m surprised that we haven’t seen an influx of the Flowbee being sold online. That’s the best of the jokes that you get today folks. And nobody around here is laughing at it either. So, uh, for those of you that are old enough to remember the Flowbee yes, everybody behind the camera is like, Oh, I feel so bad for him right now. That was just a total bum. Yeah, it is what it is. Uh, doors are reopening the business.

Uh, yours probably is as well. So what does that look like? What does it take to, um, survive this situation? But here’s what I want you to hear. If you’ve been following me for any decent amount of time, I don’t want you to survive. I want you to survive something. I want you to survive COVID. I’m so proud of a lot of our clients. Uh, the very first thing we did is kick into gear of how can we help our clients in this time and over and over and over again. What we heard was, Chris, we’ve been doing what you’ve been teaching for a long time. So we’re good. We’re making it through this. Here’s the deal. At some level, we’re all having to survive COVID19, but I don’t want you to stay there. My goal isn’t for you to continue to, uh, survive in this.

I want you to thrive through this process. So we’re going to be talking about that today. Um, so episode 368 is, should I adapt or re-invent? As we see, like I said, there’s a lot of restaurants that have been adapting. A lot of businesses have been adapting. For us, we’ve continued to do business and help people by seeing that, uh, we’ll take care of them as they come down. We, uh, have let the clients that have come in know we’re gonna, we set everything out so that you could feel secure coming into the business. But here’s the deal. You have to do something right. And a lot of folks are asking that question, what should I do? Do I just adapt? Do I just figure out how to make curbside for my business? Which my business doesn’t even have anything that’s curbside, uh, or do I reinvent myself?

So we’re gonna, we’re gonna kind of be talking about that. We see a lot of concerts are on hold. You see a lot of artists that have been going online and you know, in their home studios or in their backyards or whatever, staying engaged with their followers, making sure that they’re staying somewhat relevant during this time. And so what does that look like for us? How do we make sure we’re doing that? Um, and making sure that we are, uh, staying on top of what the mindset, the mindset should be. What should our perspective of this situation be? How should we, how should we be taking a look at our business as we go along? What must change? So, uh, most of us have been forced to adapt during this timeframe and some of us, like I said, have considered, um, reinventing ourselves. Either way, we have to change our thinking.

As Einstein said, “we cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them”. So even though we did not create this problem, everybody is taking part in this problem. Everybody’s having to figure out what does life look like on the other side of this? So I’m going to kind of use this process-you guys have followed me along enough. You know, a lot of the stuff that we talk about involves pain, stress. You know, you’re in a situation where you’ve probably been feeling some stress. You’re in a situation for some of you out there, this has been a very painful time. Our goal is not to just experience the stress and the pain, but instead, how do we take that and utilize it to make our best gains going forward? How do we take that stress and that pain and make sure that we shore ourselves up for the next time?

Because let’s be honest, folks, if you’re listening to this or watching this, you’ve probably seen at least two downturns. Some of you, some of us, we’ve seen more than two, right? So we’ve been through this kind of crap before. What do we do about it? How do we take the painful situations and make sure that we handle this better the next time? And especially when it has nothing to do with our decision making process, right? Because once again, we didn’t make this decision. So here’s the deal. Uh, as we go through this, episode, I want to talk about habits and training. Habits and training are fundamental during crisis. Now, some of you may not have felt like this was a crisis, but I know a lot of you did. What you train for, what your habits are, those are fundamental during this time. They, the habits and the training, those are created before the crisis.

We don’t go into a crisis and then create great habits. We don’t go into a crisis and then create great training. Those things should be done well before. And like I say, I’m so proud of a lot of you guys that are clients of ours that have been with us for a long time, that have been implementing the very stuff that we teach. Therefore, as you got into this crisis or however you want to look at it, you’ve been able to truck right along, continue on doing those things that are making you successful and helping you in this process. So we’re going to be talking about all of that when we come back right after this.

Hey leaders, this is Joel Fortner, VP of leadership development at Chris LoCurto’s Company. I have some questions for you. Do you as a leader feel like you are caught up in a crazy cycle of stress and task that never ends week to week? Do you ever have to deal with tough conversations with team members and you sit at home the next day, the night before worried about how’s it going to go? What am I going to say? What are they going to say? Can I think fast enough on my feet? Is it going to be a total failure? Is your team making way to many mistakes, failures, and often especially at the same things and you find you’re the one who has to get in there and solve all the problems and it takes away more of your precious time. Are you experiencing culture problems or that stuff that just breaks down trust in unity on your team or if you’re, if you can relate to any of this, this is a pretty typical leadership story and situation.

Here’s the thing though, it doesn’t have to be that way and we can help you solve these things. We can help you become the leader that solves these problems and leads your team to greater success. I want to introduce you to the key leaders program. This is an ongoing leadership development program that gives you the lesson track, coaching and accountability you need to become the leader you can become. To actually implement what you’re actually learning in this program. If this sounds interesting to you or you want to learn more information, contact Holly and [email protected] again, things fall apart without great leadership and intentionality. If you want to solve the problems that are holding you back from being a great leader, we can help you with this program. Get in touch with Holly and [email protected]

All right, we are back and we are talking about adapting or reinventing. Now, before we even get into that information and my hope is I’m really not going to make the decisions for you, I’m really not going to point out what I think you should do. Instead, I’m going to hit the information that you need to have before you make that decision. So by the time we get to the end of this episode, by the way, this is going to be a two part series, so we’re going to hit a lot of the painful stuff here, a lot of the digging in, a lot of the perspective gathering on this episode, and then next week we’re going to put a lot of this back together again. So make sure that you stick with both of these episodes, right?

But here’s the deal. What I want you to understand is, is that to make great decisions. Do I, do I reinvent myself? Do I just change things? Do I adapt? Before you make that decision, you have to have great perspective. So many people fall into this bad habit of something happened, make a decision and run with it. We have a lot of great leadership quotes and great leaders who have talked to us about, “Hey, make a decision and run with it”. Well guys, I’m always going to be the one who’s going to tell you, Hey, stop for a second, gain quality perspective and then make the best decision. So as we go through this today, once again, this is going to be a little bit painful. Uh, I get to tell you this is, this might be a little stressful for a lot of folks as we go through this, but it’s going to be powerful as you walk through these individual pieces.

So the first question I have is going to point back to your training. What was your training? So training is an act of cultivating diligent, consistent disciplines. Training gets you through the crisis. Your ability to adapt depends on training. So here’s what I want to ask you, leader, what has been your training up until this point? What have you done to be prepared for a time such as COVID 19 now, none of us would have seen this happening. However, we’ve been through multiple downturns. So many of you that are listening right now know exactly what I’m talking about. You’ve experienced it when something has gone haywire or you’ve experienced it when, when the markets have tanked, you’ve experienced it when it was really stressful for your business and you’re trying to put food on the table. You’re trying to make things happen and keep the doors open.

So my question is, what did you do since? What has your training been? What have you done to make sure that everything inside of your business is operating so well, That when you get to a crisis, it continues to operate so well. So here’s what I want you to do, Ask yourself the question: what have you been focusing on, as far as your training to make sure that you’re setting your business up for success? What is the stuff that you’ve been following up until this time that has allowed you to walk through this crisis as you will, um, without falling apart, without closing your doors? Now I do realize that some folks out there, your whole industry shut down. Uh, we had one of our clients that for a short period of time, has the whole industry shut down and there was nothing he could do. And then, uh, you know, through a lot of prayer, God brought in a big order for his business. So some folks out there, if you are in an industry where the whole industry shut down, then yeah, this may not be a, you might not be able to keep your doors open. Uh, but for a lot of folks, you’ve made some great adjustments. So my question is, what has your training been? Think through that process. Think through what have I been doing? What have I been doing with my leadership team? What have I been doing with my entire team? How have I set my salespeople up to be able to handle a situation like this? How have I set my admin team up to be able to handle a situation like this? “We don’t rise to the level of our expectations. We fall to the level of our training”. And that is the Navy seals.

Folks, I said it before the break. You do not go into a crisis and set up training. You do not go into a crisis and create good habits. Now I can tell you that crisis might create good habits on the backside. They might create good training coming out of it, but you don’t do it while you’re in the crisis. Why? Because it’s a completely different shift for you. It’s a completely different world in your business. It’s a completely different world in your leadership. You have to be trained up before you get there. You have to make sure that you have great habits, that when things change, other pieces click in, other decision making processes, step in and keep things operating well. Um, I can tell you our LiveStream; COVID made a big impact on our live event. So the Next Level Leadership Live Event we do every year, uh, we just did it a couple of weeks ago and we do that every year in person. So we have multiple events that we do for our Mastermind groups here, uh, at our offices, in our event space. And once a year we open that up to the public. Uh, we do a big hotel. A bunch of people come in. It’s fantastic. It’s amazing and I can tell you it was not fun stepping into this, uh, time period to discover that there was no possible way we were going to be able to do that event in person. But here’s what we did. We didn’t just look at that and go, well, Oh well we can’t do anything about this. Instead, my team kicked into gear. The very first thing we did when this all happened is we came in and the leader sat down and said, guys, we are not going to be afraid of this time. We are not going to spend any time fearing this.

We are, we believe that God has a plan. We believe that God is going to take care of us. So fear is something we’re going to kick in the teeth right now and I want you to know that as your leader, I am not going to be fearful. I’m, I don’t have fear on this. Second thing is we are going to spend a great, great amounts of time discussing what is it that we’re going to do. The very first thing that came up was the the event that was a, at that point, what was it, six, seven weeks away I think? Something like that. No, yeah, about five or six weeks away. That’s the first thing that we sat down and we started to discuss what could this look like. That is not a long period of time to shift and make new decisions and instead, because I have a team that’s been trained up, I have a team that has great processes, that has great decision making.

We’re able to sit down and say, what if we took the thing live stream? What if instead of doing it in person, we showed up in people’s homes and their offices, right? What if we put this on video and as we took that discussion and went really in depth on gaining quality perspective, we made a decision early on if they continue to push this stuff off and people aren’t going to be able to make it here, that’s exactly what we’re going to do after a update or two from the Governor that they were extending the stay at home stuff. That’s exactly what we did. We kicked it in gear and guys, I’ve got to tell you, I’ve said this a thousand times in the last few weeks. I love my team. I have got a phenomenal team. I have a team that shifted from the biggest event we do every year that has literally over a hundred pages of uh, tasks and things that we have to do an event checklist on making that thing successful.

That team shifted and we took the whole thing online and it was a great success. We had our surveys and everything came back. People, the funniest thing is we had a common theme. “We love the event. We’re so glad that we got to do this. We hated not being there and seeing you guys in person”, which is exactly how we felt over and over again. That was the complaint. We would have liked to have seen you in person, but we’re so glad you did this online that we got to still do this event. So we made a shift. How were we able to make that shift so easily? Was it easy? Eh, it wasn’t crazy difficult for us. I can tell you that we didn’t stress out like crazy. We didn’t lose our minds. We knew what we had to do and we did it.

The training, the habits, all the things that we had done up until this point kicked in. We made adjustments. We, we reprioritize the living daylights out of everybody’s to do lists. We moved things around. We went after the most important stuff and we got it done. And I can’t tell you how proud I am of my team. And I will say it’s because not only myself, but my leaders have been leading this type of process for many years. You don’t, let me go back to what the Navy seals say. We don’t rise to the level of our expectations. We fall to the level of our training. So here’s what I want you to ask. I want you to ask yourself, what did I learn? So what did you learn? We’re sitting here and yes, it’s not- everything’s not over with yet. Yes, your business is not back up to speed as it was six, eight weeks ago.

But here’s what I want you to ask. What did you learn? Did you find that you as a leader, and this is, I want to especially drill down on you as a leader, what did you learn about you? How did you handle this situation? Did you stress out? Did you find yourself listening to hours and hours of news media? Bad, you know, talking heads, filling you with a bunch of fear? Did you experience fear in this process? For those of you that are believers, we have a ton of folks that are believers in Jesus and we have a lot of folks that aren’t. How’d you respond? Those of you that are believers, how’d you respond? Did you trust in the King of the universe or did you feel like you had to take the reins and make all the decisions yourself? How did you as a leader respond?

Did you adapt? Did you find yourself just surviving like crazy or did you take the opportunity to thrive in this situation? So that’s the second question I want you to ask is how did you do in this process? What did you learn? Um, how did you experience your leadership? So one, how did you do as an individual? But then how did you lead people? Did you lead with stress? Did you lead with anxiety? Did you lead with fear? How was your communication in this time? Did you make sure people were set up for success? You’ve heard me say a thousand times. It’s your job as a leader to make your team successful, not the other way around. Did you make sure they were successful or were you hands off? Did you make sure that they had all of the tools they needed to work the way that they were, whether they were remote or whatever they were doing?

Did you make sure that you set them up for success and communicate to them that you were not going to face this in fear. Did you communicate to them that you were going to do everything you could to make sure that this business stayed afloat and you were going to take care of the team members that were on board? What was your communication to your team? What was your leadership to your team? Once again, the first thing I did was think about my team. What are they probably thinking? Well, I bet you anything, some of them are asking the question. You know, I wonder if Chris is stressed out. I wonder if he’s freaked out. So for me, and the great thing is, it’s so funny, that first staff meeting as we came in and I, and that was the very first thing I hit was that, Hey guys, I, I’m not afraid of this.

I’m not going to be fearful of this. We, we belong to the King of the universe. I’m not worried about that. He knows what’s going on. He’s not surprised this happened today. He has a plan for this business. And so I’m going to leave the reigns in his hand and I’m going to keep doing the diligence stuff that he’s pointed me towards right after our staff meeting. Uh, the responses from the team members were, Hey, we already knew that about you, but it’s really good to hear it. Thanks for sharing that. That’s how the team responded. So what did you do in leading? How well did you do in leading the communication process? How well did you do in keeping fear out, keeping anxiety? Did you shut down some of the team members? And when I say shut down, I don’t mean did you go over there and knock them over the head?

But did you challenge some of the fear thoughts? Did you challenge some of the stressed out, uh, thoughts of some of your team members that might have been freaking out thinking that the world’s falling apart? That’s something that a great leader does. Let’s look at this through through great perspective. Do we need to be afraid? Do we need to be freaking out? So how did you do as a leader? How did your team perform? So dig into this. I want you to spend time asking yourself the question, how did my team perform in this process? Did they solve problems? What did their decision making look like? How did they adapt in their roles? Uh, for us? Uh, I immediately came back and said, Hey guys, listen, some of you, your roles are gonna look considerably different. A lot of you admin folk, uh, cause we do a lot of events here in house.

We do a lot events in our event space. Obviously we had the big event coming up. And so I shared with the team is Hey, some of you who are high C’s and S’s, you’re going to be doing marketing stuff. There was no fear in their responses. I explained business one-on-one to my team, the company that teaches this stuff for a living. I reminded my team, “Hey guys, this is business one on one. Uh, we want to keep paying everybody. We want everybody to keep putting food on the table. So we’re going to do whatever it takes to do so”. So some people are going to adapt, some people are going to adjust. We’re going to move some people out of your role of taking care of the folks as they come in physically into our space, into our event space and we do events and we’re going to push you to doing something that might be helping in our membership site or helping with marketing online.

So we adjusted roles. We talked through that kind of stuff. And I got to tell you, my team performed phenomenally well. They’re still making adjustments. There’s still new things that we’re doing and the team’s been adapting. So ask yourself the question, how did your team perform during this time? And yes, I know we were still “in it” as I do my air quotes. Um, but ask that question. How did they perform? How did your culture hold up? This is a very important question. Guys, I will tell you probably the top two issues. In every business, every business we see, I don’t know, a business who doesn’t struggle with these top two issues. The number one issue is communication. The number two issue is a lack of high quality accountability and a very, very close third for most businesses is lacking quality culture.

So ask yourself the question, how did your culture hold up? Now for me, uh, again, I define culture as actions and attitudes. So how did the actions and attitudes of your team hold up the things that you would put in place? The, Hey, we take care of the client first. Hey, we take care of the internal client. Hey, make sure that you’re setting up your team member for success. Hey, make sure that you are, you know, whatever it is, there is no saying it’s not my job. Hey, you know, make sure that you’re actually working eight hours a day or doing a good job even though you’re at home. How did that hold up? Was there fear? Was there gossip? Was there people not able to work well with each other? Was there backstabbing? Was there, you know, struggles between team members because communication was low.

So take a look at what you consider your culture be and ask that question, how did my culture hold up during this time? Next question. How was your team’s productivity? So it’s one thing to look at how they’re responding, how they performed in the situation. It’s another thing to look at how the culture is holding up. Specifically, I want to ask the question, how much productivity did they have? How was their productivity during this time? Now, I very quickly said to my team, “Hey guys, we’re going to have to fill some time here because a lot of productivity just dropped”. There’s a lot of stuff. You’re sitting at home, you’re not able to do a lot of things right now. We’re going to make adjustments and figure out how we can do that. But understand I’m going to keep paying you to work here, which means that your job is not over with you.

Don’t go. You’re not on a big vacation sitting at home not having to work, right? We still have to work. We still have to get stuff done. We have a big event that’s coming up. How are we going to make this thing happen? And everybody at the time was working remotely. So when you look at your team, where they working, I’m assuming everybody here, your team was working remotely. What was the productivity? Did they get stuck in having hours in their day, that was very unproductive? Were they reaching out to leadership saying, “Hey man, I’m kind of stuck right now. I don’t have anything to do. What? What can I do?” What are they seeking from leadership? “Hey, I want to stay. I want to keep this business moving along. It’s important to me as well. So what can I do to help this business thrive?

What could I do and during this time?” So take a look at their productivity. Another thing that we had to look at was we had some of our, our team members that now they’re at home, their spouses at home and they’ve got kids. So not only are they working for us here, but their spouse is trying to work. They’ve got their kids at home and they’ve now become the teacher, right? Which apparently a lot of the teachers gave each other passing grades. Way to go, Teachers, you guys did a great job. What is it like to be a young couple, or even not even, you don’t have to be young, but parents with kids at home where you’re trying to do two different jobs plus take care of the kids that obviously wants something to do because now they’re stuck in the house for a long time and teach them along the way.

How difficult is that? So one of the first things we did is sat down with our parents and just said, Hey guys, listen, adjust your day. Do not try and take care of your kids all day long while you’re trying to work. It’s just ridiculous. So instead sit down with your spouse, sit down with your kids and let’s put some blocks of time in. Start, you know, you might start earlier. So I know at least one of our, our parents started work at five would work for like I think three hour blocks. Take some time with the kids, come back, work another block, take some time with the kids, come back and finish out the day. Sometimes that’s just what you’ve got to do, right? So the question is how, how productive was your team during this time? Did they still get things done? Did they still make the business happen?

Next thing, how does your processes hold up? Whoo, this is a tough one. Um, one of the biggest things, two of the top things we see during StratPlan as being issues inside of the business. Once we get past the communication, once we get past the accountability, all that is the lack of high quality processes and the lack of high quality training. So my question for you, how did those processes hold up? Did you have processes in place that allowed every team member to work? You know, obviously you probably made an adjustment because they are remote. What do they need remotely if they’ve never worked at a home before? But how did the processes work? So if they continue to take care of clients one way, what did that look like? If they were support team for other team members, what did that look like?

Were those processes in place and operating really well or did you find a lot of stuff start to fall apart? Now, listen, I, I’m not surprised if processes is a place that you see things as issues that you see that things didn’t hold up very well. Why? Because a lot of people aren’t taught to put great processes in place in the first place. So a big part of answering the question, what do I do going forward? Is asking yourself, how did my processes work during this time? So here’s a shift. So let’s just say all of a sudden we decided that we’re gonna, we’re not gonna adjust. We’re gonna reinvent ourselves. We’re gonna create a new product line. We’re going to create a new process. We’re going to create whatever, right? If you have processes that didn’t work during this crisis, what do you think’s going to happen when you reinvent?

If you create a new division, a new product, a new service, and the processes did not hold up well during this time, it doesn’t even have to be that they held up well. They just even had issues. What do you is going to happen with that new product, that new service, that new division? You’re gonna see a lot of the same stuff. And what happens if we get into the fall and this thing fires right back up again. So make sure you’re taking a hard look at the processes and asking the question. Look at all of them. How well did these hold up? You’re probably gonna need to reach out to your leaders at least and most likely the rest of your team and ask the question, “Hey guys, tell me where processes broke down. Tell me where things didn’t work”.

Next question I have for you, leader, and this is a big one. Did you solve your client’s problems? Did you solve your client’s problems? Hey, guess what? That’s actually why you’re in business. You’re in business to solve the problem of somebody else, right? The greatest products. Why? Why is toilet paper still an issue is because everybody needs it. The greatest problem solver out there, toilet paper, right? And unfortunately some people lost their minds buying truckloads of toilet paper. Apparently it’s still, people are still having a problem with this, but that is a problem solver. That’s not going away. Nobody’s invented a new way for us to solve the problem that toilet paper solves. So, question for you. How did you fulfill your products and services to the folks that need it? How did you take care of your clients during this time? Did you make sure that you adjusted? Did whatever you needed to to solve their problems?

I can tell you, um, for us, the first thing we asked, uh, you know, after helping everybody to understand we’re not going to be dealing with this from a fearful angle. The first thing we asked when it came to our clients is, is what do they need? Immediately before we, actually, before that question even came up, Joel Fortner, who is our VP of Leadership Development, was already on it, putting stuff out to help our clients, thinking through what they’re experiencing, what they’re struggling with. So we came back and discussed, “Hey, what else do they need? How else can we help them?” One of our clients, uh, Magnus Simonarson and who’s, from ConsultWebs, they do marketing for lawyers. And we were reaching out to a bunch of our clients going, Hey guys, we’re going to have a client call. We did a big group call, had client’s come on and said, Hey, these are things that we are here to help with.

Here’s some things we think you should be doing right now. And then we said, Hey, tell us what you’re doing. And Magnus, his team actually went into looking at, a lot of the lawyers are now at home and they looked at what was dropping as far as cases, what were the things that were making them money? And they started recognizing the things that were popping up. Funny thing is I didn’t see this one coming… Dog bites. Apparently a lot of folks when they are at stay at home, they go rescue dogs and apparently some of those dogs don’t like them. So there are lawsuits and things that were popping up on dog bites. That was one of the things that popped up. I mean it was rising to the top rapidly. Uh, big truck accidents as well was rising to the top pretty rapidly. I don’t know why.

If people are off the road, maybe they’re deciding that this is the time that they were going to go do something about the accident that they had. Either way, instead of just sitting back and going, Oh, we can’t help our clients with their top marketing issues, they discovered what they could. They discovered how to go in actually lead their clients on the cases they should be going after and the things that they should be looking at in the areas that they should be putting money into. So question, how did you solve your client’s needs? How’d you solve their problems? Did you stop and say, man, we’ve got to solve us. We’ve got to fix us. We gotta make sure we’re getting money in, or did you stop and go, Hey, listen, the money comes from those people. They’re the ones that put the food on our table.

Let’s go look at what problems they’re struggling with right now. Again, that’s one of the first things we did with our clients. It is the first thing we did with our clients was asked the question, what do they need right now? Let’s not try and tell them what we think they need. Now, we obviously jumped in and led on things they needed to be doing that we know as as people who lead other businesses to shore up their business during this time. Make sure they’re making smart decisions, but then we looked at what do you need to make you successful in this process? How did your finances do under pressure? Guys, this is going to be the probably the biggest pain for one for some of you guys, you’ve heard me talk about this, you know where I am on, uh, making sure that you are shoring up your finances and staying away from debt and actually building money toward the future and having savings out there. It’s funny, I’ve been teaching this for a very long time to make sure that you are not taking those crazy risks that leave you incredibly, incredibly vulnerable in case something bad happens.

Guys, if you are struggling with your finances right now, then I have a question for you. Did you just start your business? Yes, I’m going to be a little sarcastic here. Did you not experience the other downturns? At least one other one? Have you not seen that things can come upon the land at any time and you’re not expecting it. So ask yourself the question. If you’re in a place where finances are hurting really badly, why? Why is there not a decent war chest set aside for times such as this? Folks, if you are struggling financially at home, why? Why are you making decisions to put yourself in debt in bad situations as if stuff like this isn’t going to happen? Why? Instead, get your butt out of debt. Get that stuff outta here. Quit leveraging yourself and assuming that nothing bad is going to happen.

This happened basically overnight for all of us. This happened very quickly and so you have to ask yourself the question, if my finances didn’t hold up during this time, that’s because I’ve made the decisions not to. I mean, unless you’re brand spanking new, you know, if you’ve been in business for any decent amount of time and experienced at least one other downturn, then if the finances aren’t there, why? So let that weigh heavy on you. Really dig in and ask the question were you set up to be able to handle a situation like this? If not, why not? And where did your training take over in execution? Now we all fell to our level of training. Um, how was that for you? How did you do so for those of you that did do a lot of training and put a lot of habits in place and we’re ready for something like this, how’d you do?

How did the training do in preparing you for this time? So now we’re going back to that training itself. What level were you at where, how prepared were you for a time such as this? How ready were you for something that would essentially shut down a lot of business. There’s a great quote by Jacko Wilkin that is all about beliving that the mission is crucial. “Far more important than training or equipment, a resolute belief in the mission is crucial for any team member or organization to win and achieve any big results” So guys, the last question in this I have for you in the series of deep dive, perspective gathering, painful, stressful questions that are probably going to reveal that we’re lacking in a lot of areas. So, some of you probably nailed a bunch of that stuff, but you probably still had some painful ones in there as well. Last question I have for you is this, how well did your mission hold up?What is your mission? Do you know your mission? For those of you who didn’t create the mission, and that are a leader on the team, do you know the mission? How well did that mission hold up? Now, for me, the mission is the reason you exist as a business. You should have a mission for why your business exists. For us, our mission is “Worshipping God by loving people and guiding individual’s and organizations to greater perspective”. Plain and simple. Our biggest focus is on God and loving Him and worshipping Him. Our next focus is on you. It’s taking care of you by helping them. By guiding individuals and organizations to greater perspective. Now, we are the place that people are always saying “you’ve changed my life.” “you changed my business” “you changed my family” You changed, you did this. And one of the things we’re proud of is we’re pretty quick to say, we didn’t change any of that. We gave you all of the good information. we guided you to the perspective but you actually had to make the change yourself. We can’t change it for you. All we can do is push, lift your arms up, give you good information, give you some gut punches when you need them, help you through the stressful times, be there when things are tough. You’re the one who made the decision to make the change.

So here’s what I want you to ask about your mission. First off, what is the mission? If you don’t know the mission off the top of your head, guess what? I do not believe I’ve had a StratPlan where the whole leadership team has known it yet. That’s not happened in years, right? So what is it? Is it the why behind why you exist? Is it the thing that leads why you exist? If you don’t know it and your leadership team doesn’t know it, I guarantee you your team doesn’t know it. Here’s why this is important. My team did not have a problem following that mission. My team shows up and knows that’s our mission. We’re here to worship God. We’re here to love on people. We’re here to guide people to greater perspective so that they can make quality decisions in their lives. People don’t show up to work for Chris LoCurto. They show up to work for God. They know they have eight hours to come into this place and my team works usually beyond that. They know they’ve got that time to come into this place and do their work as unto the Lord. Why? Because the mission is way bigger than Chris LoCurto. The thing that God has called them to is way bigger than Chris LoCurto. So here’s what you need to ask yourself. Does your team see your mission as bigger than your company? Do they see your mission, the mission, the reason why your company exists as bigger than a paycheck, bigger than a J O B? If they don’t, then we’ve not trained them. We may not even have explained that they’re doing something bigger than themselves.

“Well, Chris, my company pours concrete. You telling me that that’s something bigger than myself?” “Well, do you pour concrete into the same hole 40 hours a week?” “Well, of course not.” “Well, what do you do with that concrete?” “Uh, we do driveways and we do back patios.” “And what happens on those back patios? I dunno. Uh, families have barbecues.” I don’t know why I’m doing this accent with it, but Hey, that’s where we are right now.

“I don’t know. Families have barbecues.” “So you actually create something that allows families to come closer together and spend time together and love on each other?” “Hmm. Well, I’d never looked at it that way before.” Well, you need to, you need to ask yourself the question, what is it that you do that is bigger than you? What is the mission that your business provides? And then how do I make sure my team not only understands it and knows it, but that they, their whole job is built on making sure that that mission is accomplished. So if there’s no great why for your team, and that could be anywhere, it could be the company as a whole. It could be, you might have some specific teams that aren’t following the mission statement, then I can promise you you had low productivity during this time. I promise you, if there isn’t a great why and they’re working remotely and you’re not there to, you know, crack a whip, the mission isn’t the thing driving them.

But I’m pretty sure they probably took advantage of that time. Ask yourself the question, how well did my mission, um, hold up during this time? I can tell you when we’ve all went remote and I started talking to the team, we did our, our, you know, Brady Bunch, zoom call. The first time my team was chomping at the bit. What do we do? Even in a time I said, Hey guys, this first week we’re going to be a little bit less productive as we’re discovering this. I had team members going, what else can I do? What else can I do? Chris, what do you need? Hey, I’m just sitting here. What else can I do? The person who says that is the person who sees the mission and is completely behind it and knows that it’s bigger than themselves. So how did your mission do?

The future of any business depends on the disciplines and culture they’re creating today. Guys, this is what we do here. This is what we teach. This is what we train. We teach you to gain as much perspective as you possibly can. When you are disciplined, when your leaders are disciplined, when your team is disciplined, then you’re able to make it through times like this. When you have great training, when you have great habits that actually allow you to work through a crisis like this, then you’re able to make it on the other side. So yes, I know this is a painful episode. Uh, next week, join us next week. We’re going to bring a lot of this back together, but I don’t want you to bypass how painful this is. I don’t want you to bypass the stress. There’s no greater time than right now to dig in and find out how did each one of these areas of my business do? If you’re a team leader, how did each one of these areas in my team do? By the way, feel free to take these questions and ask, how did my family do? How did I do as a leader at home? Well, folks, we hope this has helped you today. Again, part two is going to be next week, we’re going to put a lot of this stuff back together, so hopefully this has helped you take this information, change your leadership, change your business, change your life, and join us on the next episode.