I am working internationally this week. In fact, this is my first time traveling in many months and it feels great. To be clear, this is not a case of “revenge travel” and I am not throwing caution to the wind. This trip was a calculated bet that I could do my work and stay safe from Covid as well. So, how can I feel safe today, when I did not a month ago? I hedged my bets.
As I am traveling internationally from the United States, along with all of my fellow passengers, I had to test negative for the Coronavirus prior to boarding my flight. The flight was nearly empty (bad for the airlines, good for me) and masks were required. Upon landing, all negative tests were verified and intense protocols were in place. At the hotel and meeting location, an impressive set of safety measures are in place and strictly followed.
The result: I can relax and do my work and enjoy the connection with fairly high confidence of success and safety.
Business is like that as well. Sure, there are no guarantees, but some basic tenants that, if followed, creates a far greater likelihood of success for you and your team. Treat people well, manage your cash flow, listen to your customers, differentiate from your competitors, be remarkably easy to do business with. And while it may sound simple, it’s certainly not easy.
Like the pandemic, things go off-the-rails in business when we think we’re smarter than everyone else, believe that the rules don’t apply to us, look for shortcuts, ignore the evidence, or violate long-standing norms.
To be clear, I’m not downplaying the role of creativity and innovation, but there are some basic rules that, if followed, give you the best chance to stay safe and be successful against both competitors and viruses. This week, we’re working hard and working safe.