CV Crisis Chronicle: May 17 Undertow's and Riptide's, knowing the difference can save your life and how it correlates to this Pandemic Period.
This is a series of articles from emails that we were sending out to clients and friends as the CV Crisis evolves. Hope it is helpful for others and also provides a historical context as we all reacted and learned about the seriousness of this virus.
I grew up in California and was on a swim team from the time I was 7. Trips to the coast were a delight and with them came lessons about the strength and power of the ocean. One element you felt almost instantly once you were past ankle depth was the undertow which was managed without much difficulty. However, the more dangerous element that still leads to ocean drownings every week is the rip current which is frequently call a riptide.
The key thing we learned was that you could use a burst of energy with an undertow to get yourself to be able to stand and recover, but you could never beat a rip head on.
Why the ocean swimming lesson 10 weeks into a pandemic and a correlating economic shut down?
We have noticed many people, including ourselves, trying to sprint to safety and our misdiagnosis of the situation could be costing us valuable energy in what appears is going to be a much longer swim back to shore.
The rip takes you out past the breaking waves, into the deep water. Once you know you are in a rip you orient yourself to the shore, swim sideways (they are typically no more that 100 yards wide) and then can start to re-orient yourself to swim diagonally or directly back to the wave line. You still have a ton of swimming to do, you will be very tired when you get back, but you actually can make progress and survive.
The one two punch of the pandemic and recession is a substantial rip. Each week we get more bad news from a wide range of industries. It can be confusing but it shows just how intertwined our supply chains are and how finely tuned they had become. It seems odd that pigs would be slaughtered, why not just let them get bigger? Why is a lettuce crop getting tilled up? But both of these are viewed as a crop and if you are going to lose money, then you stop losing money as quickly as you can.
Here are our findings after another active week working.
You Can't Punch the Pandemic in the Mouth
Don’t look for the heroic kick save that always works in the movies. Save your energy and reorient your position to live to fight another day and take the measures that will allow you to survive.
Plan from the bottom up.
A good first measure is to build out plans on how your family and your business survive a Pandemic Period. This war is like any conflict, it never shows up where or when you thought it would. Enemies attack where you are weak and adapting to that blow is the first step. Our training needs to be in adapting and then preparing for the next unforeseen action. Part of that preparation is doing what we call C-B-A planning.
C-B-A planning was something that came out of the financial crisis of 2009, it is where you understand how things will look in reverse order. You plan to survive first, then improve and then optimize. It is not normal for most of us as we plan for everything working and often times we succeed.
However, in a pandemic period work the numbers and the choices out in your mind so that if and when we get another broadside attack adapting will be about implementing not deciding.
Help others with the eye of a Lifeguard
Start looking for how you can help others within your interests and strengths but make sure you have the energy allocated to do it. Another swimming lesson from my youth was from life guard training. Reach – Throw – Row – Go was the mantra for helping a struggling swimmer.
Part of the reason for this was that the last thing you wanted to be was a life preserver for a drowning person.
Endurance, Endurance, Endurance
Continue to practice the habits we wrote about from Colonel John Boyd’s OODA Loop and Admiral James Stockdale’s Paradox as you hone your endurance skills.
We all came into this Pandemic Period at different points in our lives and with big plans for the next 90 days, 9 months and even 9 years. It has brought some closer together which doesn’t make the news, it has driven others further apart which always makes the news, and it will leave its mark on all of us.
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Drew Sanders Blog
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