Grace Under Pressure During Uncertain Times

Posted by David Anderson on

Resilience, grit, fortitude, guts. These are words used quite often in business and leadership circles, but how do they play themselves out when they actually need to be enacted in the real world?

The last few months have been some of the worst in recent history. They have tested our patience, forced us to change course mid-stream, and made us question how we run our businesses and in some cases why our businesses exist at all. With all of this happening it is no surprise that for many businesses doubt and uncertainty have been the preeminent feelings of the time.

Supply shortages, sickness, and remote work have forced those companies who want to continue caring for their customers to become open minded, agile, and more and more comfortable with uncertainty. In a strange way, the obstacles of the last few months have forced us to grow in ways me have not have wished, but in ways that were necessary now that we look back.

Since the start of the COVID-19 panic we have been reminded often of the words of the Stoic philosopher Seneca’s advice to one of his students:

In the meantime cling tooth and nail to the following rule: not to give in to adversity, never to trust prosperity, and always take full note of fortune’s habit of behaving just as she pleases, treating her as if she were actually going to do everything it is in her power to do. Whatever you have been expecting for some time. (Letters from a Stoic, Letter LXXVIII)

Heeding this advice from the beginning of the panic, we have been able to not only continue our business, but to grow and succeed more than ever before. For instance, despite having to change several key suppliers – due to the fact they diverted the entirety of their businesses to the manufacture and supply of masks and ventilators, in short leaving us high and dry— in June we had our best month in company history, hitting record goals for our top three metrics of new analyzer sales, repairs, and service and calibration.

With a proper acknowledgment of the vicissitudes of the world along with proper planning and risk mitigation strategies, we have been able to continue to provide top-level care to our customers throughout this trying time.

Someone once asked Hemingway what he meant when he used the term ‘guts’ and Hemingway responded, “I mean grace under pressure.”

To exhibit “grace under pressure” to all of our clients has been our goal during this time of pandemic and civil unrest. We have constantly been asking ourselves questions such as: ‘How do we keep ourselves from simply reacting to what is happening and rather learn to thoughtfully respond to what is happening?’ Or considering statements such as: ‘We are so used to being in control of all aspects of our business, but how do we continue to serve our customers when an unexpected event like this annihilates our long thought-out strategy and we are left with the bleak option of either changing course quickly or sinking.’

While our answers to these questions and their subsequent actions have not been perfect, we are pleased that we have been able to consistently support our customers both new and old through these uncertain, stressful times.

Let us know how we can continue helping you. We would love to hear from you soon.


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