Don't Be Surprised When Things Go Wrong
According to Brian Tracy, crisis is an inevitable part of life. In our lives, we can expect to face some form of crisis - personal, financial or health-related - every two to three months. And it's no different for businesses: Every two to three months a crisis will crop up that will have the potential to harm the well-being of your enterprise.
Is it possible to protect yourself and your business from the inevitable?
In Crunch Point: The 21 Secrets to Succeeding When It Matters Most, Tracy says that it is possible, but that the actions you take during these crucial moments are what determine whether your business will be overwhelmed and eventually overtaken by these problems, or whether your business will emerge from each crisis not only intact, but stronger and more resilient than ever.
How to Address - and Deal With - Crunch Points
Tracy likens survival in both the business world and personal matters to the "Challenge-Response Theory of History" that Arnold Toynbee outlined in his A Study of History. Toynbee maintained that every great civilization, from Rome to the Mongols, began its existence as a small tribe. What set these particular tribes on the path of greatness was their ability to effectively face challenges and hostility from the outside world and other tribes. Each challenge that the tribe dealt with successfully made them stronger, bigger and more resilient. A tribe that panicked in the face of crisis and, as a result, was unable to act effectively did not survive.
According to Tracy, it's the same today, particularly in business. A business' level of "response-ability" in moments of crisis is what determines its success, health and future growth.
Over the course of 21 chapters, Tracy presents 21 techniques for effectively addressing and dealing with "crunch points." These strategies incorporate a wide range of potentially valuable courses of action, such as staying calm when faced with an unexpected problem; asserting firm control and assuming the responsibility for the situation that should come with authority; cutting your losses quickly and definitively while focusing on key result areas; and tapping into your creativity to find effective solutions and to generate cash flow for your enterprise.
Tracy presents a no-nonsense approach in each of his techniques that does not allow room for the fear and anxiety that often prevent business leaders from dealing effectively with crisis situations.
For example, in his chapter "Cut Your Losses," Tracy advocates engaging in "zero-based thinking." He advises his readers to look at their businesses objectively and to ask themselves the following question: "Is there anything that I am doing [now] that, knowing what I now know, I wouldn't get into again if I were starting it up today?"
If the answer to that question is yes, then Tracy advises his readers to discontinue whatever it is, and fast - whether it is a product line or service that is not performing well, an employee who is not doing an effective job for the company or a client who is more of a drain on the business' resources and energy than they're worth.
Throughout the book, Tracy presents a clear case for meeting such problems head-on and for taking the necessary actions that will ensure the continued success and health of your enterprise.
Keeping Yourself Healthy to Keep Your Business Healthy
In addition to detailing effective business practices to implement in times of crisis, Tracy stresses the importance of maintaining your own health and sanity. A business is only as healthy and able to deal with crisis as its leader is able. He discusses techniques for maintaining well-being during crunch points, such as making sure to get enough sleep and exercise; eating a high-protein, healthy diet; and taking time to recharge. Recharging, he says, means taking a weekend off from business matters and the crisis you are facing. By doing so, you will return to the office and the issues with a fresh perspective and a greater capability for finding the necessary solutions to your problems.
Why We Like This Book
In Crunch Point, Tracy offers down-to-earth methods for dealing with crises that readers can implement in both their business practices and their personal lives. At the end of each chapter, Tracy distills his advice into two direct and sensible "Crunch Point Actions" that detail specific actions readers should use when dealing with a similar crisis.