Saturday, May 2, 2009

Dire Times and Dandelions

Yesterday was a bad day.

Our business continues to suffer greatly in this recession, and we continue to fall further and further behind our extremely conservative 2009 budget. We currently have an $8MM profit gap that we need to try and fill, and this is on top of the massive cuts that we've already made over the past year.

The impacts of this on my company, my team, and me personally, will be significant.

As a senior leader of our company, this weighs very heavy on me. We've done all of the easy things. There are no longer any easy paths forward. I know that a definition of great leadership is the ability to create victories out of situations when they are at their most dire, and I feel like I am failing at the time when I need to be at my most clear, confident, and decisive.

I thought about this constantly as I was mowing my lawn yesterday - mulling over the situation again and again in my head. I found a really nice distraction in the emerging dandelions that were popping up. The reason I have them is because the lawn service we employed still had not been out to work on our yard yet.

The more I thought about the state of my lawn, the more it infuriated me. Given the recession, I have to believe that something like a lawn service is one of the first things to get kicked to the curb when the family budget get tight. They should have ample bandwidth to take care of my lawn. It is May 1, for cryin' in the beer. What are they waiting for?

I was now getting whipped up into a froth. In my current situation, I'm desperate for some sales right now! How dare they!

At the apex of my rage, and as if on cue, a competitive lawn service happened to drive into my neighborhood. In my furor I immediately flagged them down, and my inquiry about their interest in some incremental business was met with a shocked and smiling "YES!"

15 minutes later my lawn had been serviced, a contract for $300 of lawn service had been inked, a phone call had been placed severing the relationship with the old service, and the dandelions were on their way to the great green lawn in the sky.

If only all of my problems could be solved so expeditiously.


  1. Sorry to hear that. Everyone is affected.

  2. Indeed, we all are. Thanks for the sentiment and for stopping by, Cris.


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