I want to share an inspiring story with you about what is possible for business in times of crisis. As the world is hit by extraordinary circumstances, the shock waves are felt deep into the core of our human heart. Many experiences the consequences to their way of life, and secondly to what provides for them in life. Their jobs. And money.
We can easily feel we are powerless to the circumstances, a leaf at the mercy of forces beyond our control. It is not so. But when we feel the fear creeping in, our creative resources shut off, and our fear thoughts as well as rational mind takes over. However, neither are resourceful helpers to guide us onto safe ground and into even more evolved expressions of where we came from. Because there is a path for you that will steer you safely through this crisis if you know where to look.
Where we are drawn to look is to lack. Our mind starts to see lack. It thinks in scarcity. It is fearful of what it is losing. The solutions it can see are only either/or, and what it has been programmed to believe about ‘what is right’ about handling a crisis. There is another path available, and YOU do already have the answers within. It is within the grasp of your intuitive mind. Your spiritual intelligence.
I wish to share a story with you from my upcoming book about spiritually intelligent leadership, which I hope can provide an alternative course of action, if you are willing to take it. It is a story about Jean, but it is really a story about what is available for you. Jean Pitzo, is the CEO of ACE METAL CRAFTS COMPANY in the US. And she is just one out of many stories that I have, about what solutions are available in leadership, if we decide to listen to what is possible within us. So, before you read on, know that this is not coincidence, or a rare story. This is available to everyone.
The crisis that became the success
ACE METAL was started in the 1960’s in Chicago, USA. About 30 years ago, Jean received the keys to the business from her dad, having just entered her 30s. He said “here, take over”, moved to Florida and left her at the steering wheel. ACE METAL do sheet metal fabrication and some machining, and specialize in stainless steel. Most of the components the company produce go into food processing or pharmaceutical processing packaging industry. Today Jean has been heading the company for about 30 years and knows the industry in and out, but when she was first handed the keys, she did not know much about sheet metal fabrication, fabrication in general or about leadership and management. And as she was founding her feet in this business, a crisis hit in 2001.
This became a true turning point for Jean’s personal leadership journey, and came to set the standard for a caring, thriving work culture, which has since earned the company many awards. It was exactly during this business crisis Jean realized that how she shows up impacts her leadership and shapes reality, and that she had a choice in that.When Mad Cow disease hit Europe in 2001 and devastated the industry, the crisis also hit ACE METAL. The business was dependent on the meat and food processing industry, so the hit was felt almost immediately.
“It was like a faucet turned off. Our business was losing money every single day, and I had cut costs and cut costs as much as I thought I could”, Jean recalls and adds that to make matters worse, then 9/11 happened. Not only were we already slow, but now the economy in general just really went into a deep recession.
“Fear was everywhere. I was in fear all the time and thinking that there was not enough money, there was not enough time, there wasn’t enough orders, not enough work to do. How much can I cut without cutting the guts of the company apart? I can’t get rid of all the talent!”
Then coincidentally (or not) a friend recommended that Jean took an evening class called ‘Journaling to Wholeness’. She decided to sign up, and after the first class she realized how her thinking impacted her leadership, and then a shift happened.
“Right away I learned about scarcity thinking and abundance thinking, and I realized I was in constant fear and scarcity thinking. As opposed to having thoughts about abundance like, ‘let’s get ready for all the orders that are coming’, ‘be ready for take-off when things turn’. It was just a shift that happened in me. To rather have faith and belief that it’s going to be okay, and we can weather the storm, and we can get through it, and we are going to spend some money and make ourselves better now.
I went into the office the next morning and said, “we are going to start with abundance thinking”, and we started to talk about it. And started spending money instead of trying to save and not spend money. We got people busy with painting the walls and reorganizing the plant. Then in doing so, some of the employees just thought of new ideas and a new way of doing things and then we connected it with meat manufacturing, and we just took off. The whole thing turned around when my thinking turned around. And then I just kept going to classes, kept reading more books, and evolved my personal life to flow into my business and my way of leading.”
The turn in Jean’s thoughts became a turning point in her leadership, and a turning point for the business. Her business is a true inspiration for evolved business thinking. A kind of thinking we are called into if we are to keep navigating successfully in the complexity of the times, which is here to stay.
When it feels as if our livelihood is threatened, our rational mind can only see short term, it can only see what it is programmed to see, it can only know the solutions that it has been taught. We are so invested in our rational minds way of looking at physical reality, that we cannot even stop to think about what creative, possible solutions are available.
We forget that solutions are not predetermined, but they arise from within us. The thinking that got us here, will not serve us moving forward. You are called into deeper contact with the resources that are already waiting for you ,within you. They will help to guide you in the right direction. Trust that you can do the right thing, weather the storm. Not by acting from fear, but to courageously follow the vision of what wishes to emerge on the other side.