100 Ways to Succeed #139:
Work the Damn Phones!
Treble Your MBWA!
One of my favorite quotes, from Carolyn Lamb* (*can't quite figure out who she is, even with Google's brain as helper), goes like this: "A year from now you may wish you had started today."
Yes, today many of us wish we had "wildly" "over"invested in those employee-vendor-client-community relationships when the market was heading North and there was a little slack in the system. Well, perhaps we didn't, but, and I'm not "doing a Tony Robbins" here, it really is never too late. That is:
Work the damn phones.
Keep working the damn phones.
Keep showing up.
Call clients and suppliers, ask them how things are going, and how you can help. This is not about sales (directly), but about "showing up"—taking time from your busy affairs to offer assistance of any sort. (E.g., offer up your network: "Well, Dave [one of your key suppliers], I know Ed Simpson, over there at [one of Dave's problem clients]; his daughter and mine are co-captains of the [name of school] soccer team; I can give him a call for you if you'd like." Etc.)
This is even more important with our employees.** "Over"inform—the rumors are invariably worse than reality. "Over"do your MBWA—managing by wandering around. Keep your enthusiasm up if it kills you—not in a dopey grin, "all is well" way, but by exhibiting energy and masking any internal doom & gloom expressions that may, in fact, be just beneath the surface. [**I use the formal word "employees" here, a word I ordinarily dislike. But the point is that you do have a formal hierarchical relationship with those on your payroll, and thence a formal as well as an abiding moral obligation concerning their and their families' well-being.]