Sunday, March 9, 2008

Reframing the Whole Thing in My Own Head

A Chief Executive Boards International member made a profound comment in a recent Local Board meeting.

He was talking about his challenge of handling a business downturn, requiring that he cut capacity (equipment) and staff (people) to do the right thing for his business -- take it down to fighting weight to survive a (hopefully temporary) reduced level of revenue.

Add to that the currently skittish nature of lenders and surety (bonding) companies, both of whom have made a fine art of closing barn doors after all the horses have left. Faced with a few non-performing customers, they generally want to withdraw financial support of those still standing. This member decided to take that position head-on, making the case that reducing credit lines and reducing bonding capacity would be exactly the wrong thing to do with a customer taking a proactive approach to a general industry downturn.

So, he needed a script that would sell to both employees and outsiders (bankers and bonding companies). Not to mention suppliers and customers.

The profound thing he said was "I found I had to REFRAME the whole thing in my own head before I could properly frame it for anyone else." Fascinating observation. He realized that if he hadn't fully come to grips with the current situation, internalized it, and gotten himself 100% believing it, he wasn't going to make any credible presentation at all to anyone.

How often does that happen? We fail to "reframe the whole thing in our own heads", thereby resulting in non-committal, non-convincing statements to employees, customers, suppliers and financial entities. On the other hand, all of those folks have trusted us before. Does it not follow that if we approach them with conviction and commitment, they'll trust us now, even if the realities of "now" are causing the business great stress?

The happy ending to this story is that this member successfully persuaded the bank and bonding company to maintain his credit and bonding capacity, laid off some employees, and planfully sold some excess equipment to raise cash. He's now conserving, rather than burning cash while seeing his market begin to stabilize and improve.

What is it right now that you need to reframe in your own head to be successful? Have you been kidding yourself about the market, an employee, a customer, a successor? Click "comments" below to let others know of something you reframed in your own head and then were successful in handling.

To forward this to a friend,
Click Here

Terry Weaver

Chief Executive Boards International
864 527-5917

Chief Executive Boards International: Freedom for business owners & CEOs -- Less Work, More Money, More Freedom to enjoy it

1 comment:

  1. I had to learn that ALL DEBT is not bad. After a sudden growth spurt I had to learn to use a creditline. This took a lot of work as I was taught ALL DEBT is bad.


Comments to CEBI Blog articles are moderated to ensure member privacy and control spam. All comments except those deemed inappropriate should post within 24 hours.