Don’t Worry, Be Happy!

“…do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Seems like a good way to live and yet so many leaders I meet are burdened with the heavy load of WORRY. They feel a responsibility for their employees and even their employee’s family. They have bank covenants and investor expectations to meet, customers demands, and pressure from competition. Add to all this the desire to be a good spouse, parent, friend, and it can be too much!

We can’t be so cavalier to toss out Bobby McFerrin’s sage advise of “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” and think that will wash away our cares. But there is great wisdom in learning how to deal with the worries of life because carrying them around on your back is NOT the answer.

I always tell my kids there are two things you are not supposed to worry about; things you can fix, and things you can’t fix. If there is an issue – fix it and move on. If there is an issue you can’t fix, leave it alone and focus on what you can fix. Seems simple enough, if we chose to do it.

FIX IT

Last week I had the opportunity to spend two days with a company in Frisco taking their team through two days of Team Development and Strategic Planning. Afterward, I talked with the CEO and heard how this time of planning had made a big difference in creating calm and excitement where there used to be worry and doubt. 

Great leaders are proactive in tackling the tough issues and creating a clear vision of the path your team needs to take for success. Where there are doubt and confusion, people will create their own plans and you’ll have a bunch of mice running in all directions trying to be busy, but not always productive. 

MOVE ON

If there is an issue you face that is out of your hands, make plans to deal with the effects it may bring and then move on. I have a group member who does business in the Healthcare Industry. The government keeps changing the rules so that it’s hard to know what’s coming next and how to be ready for it. You can worry yourself sick thinking of what may be around the corner.

The only thing they can do is watch the changes, look for trends and as Gretsky once said “skate to where the puck is going.” Many things are out of their control but that still leaves a lot they CAN control like providing world-class Customer Service, control expenses by being efficient in their efforts, strengthen partnerships in the industry, and be FIRST to respond to changes with a clear plan of action. When your team sees they are ready for anything and it helps keep worried away.

The reality is our entire life is out of our hands. We are wise to plan ahead but anything can, and often does happen. This weekend, the purchasing manager for one of my group members died unexpectedly. No one saw this coming and they are dealing with the loss of a friend and key employee. Make plans for the unexpected and be prepared to deal with tragedy when it occurs. Then go back to the thing I said you are not supposed to worry about and create an environment where your team can use their energy to reach their goals, instead of using it up in worry.

Contact me today if you need help making this happen.

Robert Hunt

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