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 Storm“We are made to persist. That’s how we find out who we are.” ~ Tobias Wolff

It’s winter in Melbourne and it’s cold! We’ve had some awful windstorms this week that have seen trees fall and the Yarra flood. The SES as per usual do an outstanding job and are there to support those affected.

I was thinking last night that these days can be so reflective of how business can be sometimes, I mean business leaders can face into stormy days frequently. Who do you have to support you?

It’s critical in times as challenging and fast paced as now that you know who you can turn to when skies are grey, when the rain is pelting hard and the wind is gusting so ferociously that you can hardly see.

There is such an expectation of business leaders to be strong, resilient and courageous – always. However, business leaders are human beings and that’s not quite how the cookie crumbles in this thing called life that embraces work, family and the rest of it. We are emotional beings and it’s near impossible to be ‘up’ all the time regardless of how hard we try. We have bad days and it’s ok. The important thing is that you have the right support around you.

Through many years of facing these storms and learning I can’t do this on my own, I have formed a pretty cool support crew. When I need sympathy (yes I need to wallow sometimes – only sometimes), I have someone for that, when I need to bounce ideas, I have people for that, when I need someone to just listen, I have a few for that and when I need a swift kick up the rear to suck it up and get on with it, I have only two people who are brave enough for that.

The most important things with my support crew is that I have built a strong level of trust with them and I can be vulnerable and that’s ok. It won’t be held against me or thrown back in my face. And it won’t be spoken about to others. I am confident about that.

If I didn’t have my support crew, managing a multi million dollar business, 130 people and leading them through constant change would have been pretty tough. Boy were there some tornados and tsunamis at that time!

Many people choose to take shelter from storms, to batten down the hatches and wait until they pass. Which is not a good business strategy when you think about. You have others that will grab their raincoats and umbrellas and brave the storm. Navigate their way through it and find the solution they need. They are then ahead of the game.

You must move forward. Your support crew need to enable and free you in varying ways. Hence the need to have ‘a crew’.

So be clear of who your support crew are and if you are feeling isolated, chances are that you haven’t tapped into resources that are more than likely at your finger tips.

To future proof your business or your career support is paramount. You’re not a super human (so stop trying to be), just a human who can have a bad day. The important thing to know is you’re not alone.