Carpe momentum, or perhaps more appropriately, creare momentum. The word momentum comes directly to us from the Latin meaning movement or moving power. So carpe momentum means seize the momentum and creare momentum means create the momentum. I discussed the need, as we entered the downturn, to keep your team’s eye on the ball. The sales force will be particularly vulnerable to a general sense of bad news, negative direction or slowing progress. The risk of negativism and distraction by everything from news of the capital to the stock market is on the upswing again. It is up to us to make sure that for every negative message received, the team is bombarded with positive news and ideas for how to continue to find opportunities and positive expectations in the particular market(s) served.
The world is not coming to an end. People still need to eat, children are still returning to school needing supplies, the price of corn is up, oil is down, night follows day, and soon the Europeans will be returning to work from their annual month of August holiday!
You can certainly schedule mass rah, rah sessions, but these can sometimes be seen as nothing more than cheerleading and can certainly hold down productivity. What is more effective at moments like this is sitting down with individuals and discussing their particular situations and where the bright spots are. This kind of personal interaction lets the individual know you value them and their contribution to the organization. It helps them see in very personal terms that things are not as bad as the noise makes them out to be. Help each of your key leaders, whether they are sales or executives, to remember just how lucky they are to be exactly where they are at a time like this.
Business psychologists will tell you that people who feel lucky often feel more secure than people who feel that their skills were the only thing that got them where they are. I’m not sure why this is the case, but there you have it. In fact, Bo Peabody argues in his book Lucky or Smart that winning is mostly luck in the entrepreneurial game. So get together with your team members and help them creare momentum.