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There is a magic formula that the successful use, specifically and particularly when faced with a challenge that comes at them sideways and out of the blue. Of course, we are faced with such a challenge at the moment, and a lot of people, including members of my family, are feeling the effects of the measures being taken by people to avoid the dreaded lurgy. Which, according to MSWord’s spellcheck, is  a word.

Businesses are laying off people left and right, and given that a lack of custom does tend to thwart a business’ efforts to stay solvent, I can understand this. Of course, said businesses – the less scrupulous – will take the money offered by the government to keep them afloat, while not using it to keep staff in a job. And, of course, if you’ve laid off your staff carefully and before said money becomes available, you can avoid paying them at all. I hope that HMG makes sure that the money they hand out is properly accounted for.

Meanwhile, at the other end of the scale, major grocery retailers are looking at the problems created by ‘now’ and are adjusting their practices to suit.

The major movers, ladies and quintleflick (not a word), are applying the formula.

Unfortunately, as the majority of us are not educated in leadership and management, a lot of people aren’t applying it. If only they knew what it was. Of course, while all clever kids know that x= minus b times the square root of b squared minus 4ac all over 2a, they aren’t taught this formula in school. And it could save a lot of stress.

The formula is E+R=O.*

E is the Event. This is the thing that happens to us or, as one of my participants forced me to decide, the situation in which we find ourselves. (That covered people born with disabilities –  they didn’t ‘happen’, their situation just ‘was’.) The Event is something outside of your control. You didn’t plan it, plan for it, expect it and probably didn’t anticipate the possibility. Cue a pandemic caused by eating a bat, allegedly.

R is the Response. It’s what you do about what’s happened, and that includes how you decide to feel about what’s happened. Excitement, despair, challenge – all reactions that are up to you. Maybe not in the first instance, but at least after you’ve paused to think about them.

O is the Outcome. The Outcome is what you want to have happened at the end of it all.

E is unchangeable. That being the case, the only way to change the value of O is entirely within the Response provided to E. Your Outcome is wholly dependant on the quality and thinking behind your Response to E.

The question is – is your Response wholly based in fear, or is it considered, thoughtful and ecological? Is it self-serving or will it serve us all? Is it destructive and aimed solely at self-preservation, or is it a unique answer to a problem? An answer the like of which gets written about in leadership and management literature next year?

Yes, folks. You Response to what is happening to you today could be so imaginative that you find yourself being immortalised in print. It could make you proud, or ashamed. Or just content, which is just enough for your integrity to remain intact.

Or you could just be a selfish tw4t. Your choice.

Businesses – the people you’re sacking, you’ll want back in three or four months. Treat them well and they will come. Treat them badly, and see whether all your selfish efforts backfire.

Have a good weekend, folks.


*From an idea by Dr Robert Resnick, as publicised in The Success Principles’ by Jack Canfield, but also the result of Habit One – Be Proactive, by Stephen Covey.