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Predicting Your Results In Unpredictable Circumstances

January 15, 2019

If there is one thing that is certain in business, it is uncertainty; still some companies perform reliably well and with excellence in spite of changing circumstances and business conditions, while others completely collapse. Why? There is evidence showing that those that survive uncertainty have certain essential principles that are woven into the fabric of the company’s culture so tightly that when a challenge (uncertainty) comes, the essentials kick in ensuring the company goes through and overcomes the challenge with excellent results. In other words, during uncertain times the company does better than others in the same field. So what are those “essentials?”

In the book Predictable Results In Unpredictable Times, by Stephen R. Covey, Bob Whitman and Breck England, four essential practices have been described in great detail leading you to grasp great tips on how you can win (and keep winning) in any environment. This book is my second read of the year, and I am definitely recommending it as #2 in #Lhw52BooksIn52Weeks2019. Interestingly, the content is like a continuation of the book I recommended last week, GRIT by Angela Duckworth. If you haven’t read that book please make sure you do. You can download it from my online reading club on Telegram. Just visit my Instagram page, click on my bio and follow the link that says, Telegram Group

Going back to the essentials needed by companies for great performance in both good and bad times, here below is a summary as the book says:

  • Excellent Execution - Winning companies have simple goals with clear targets and strong follow-through. All team members know what to do about the goals and they execute precisely.


  • High Trust Levels with all stakeholders – Low trust slows you down and raises your costs especially in times of turmoil. But when trust levels rise, everything speeds up and costs go down.


  • Achieving more with less – In tough times, everyone tries to do more with less, but the real question is more of what? Winning companies focus on giving more value not just cutting back.​


  • Transforming fear into engagement – unpredictable times create anxieties that distract you just when you need total focus. Winning organizations entrust people with a mission and strategy they can believe in, channeling their anxiety into results.

These principles can help companies win regardless of the turbulence of the ride or the stock of overwhelming change. 


If you are a business owner or in a position of leadership in the organization you work for, you need to get a copy of this book and read it. The four essentials summarized above will help transform your organization in ways you never imagined possible. Remember, you don’t have to wait until uncertainties happen for you to prepare yourself to handle them. Prepare yourself now and you won’t have to worry when things go as unplanned. Take a cue from Noah; it wasn’t raining when he built the ark.


How about for individuals, is it possible to apply the same four essentials to ensure that you keep being productive regardless of the situation surrounding you? I thought about it and I believe we can use the same principles to have success after success after success.

  • Excellent Execution – you must have set some goals for yourself at the turn of 2019. In order to hit those goals,  you must have prepared a plan of (daily) action to help you get closer to your goals every day of the year. I am also guessing that you did put together a monitoring and evaluation plan to ensure that your plan is working as it was intended to. Within your monitoring and evaluation, I am hoping you put in measures that will help you analyze whether you are doing what you need to do with effectiveness and efficiency. All these bits and pieces put together constitute Excellent Execution.​


  • High trust levels with all stakeholders – the biggest stakeholder of your dreams and goals is yourself! If you don’t trust that you will achieve what you have set for yourself to achieve, then I can guarantee you that nobody else can believe that for you. Any other stakeholder who comes in to team up with you will also have a problem trusting you. Start by believing in yourself, your abilities, your potential, your gifts and your purpose.  Trust in yourself first, and you will attract others who will trust you too.


  • Achieving more with less – you must have heard this saying often:start where you are and with what you have.  In other words, you don’t have to wait until you have everything in place. In fact if you do, you will never achieve anything. Like someone said, “You don’t have to be great to get started, but you have to get started in order to be great.” Whatever “little” ideas or resources you have, put them into work and they will generate the rest of the needed resources as time goes by.  Don’t despise whatever little you have, it is what will multiply to become more. A seed is small when planted, but after taking care of it consistently, it produces alot more than the little seed that went into the ground. Do not despise your humble beginning. Embrace it and watch it grow.


  • Transforming fear into engagementI read a story of how two drunkards found themselves in a grave situation (pun intended) in a graveyard. The route they used to pass on their way home was through the graveyard. One had left earlier than the other and in his drunkenness, he fell in an empty uncovered grave. Of course being drunk he tried everything he could to get out of the grave but couldn’t. He got tired and fell asleep. A few hours later, the second drunkard passed the same route and unfortunately fell in the same grave. Just like his friend before him had, he tried to get out of the grave but couldn’t. Eventually he decided to rest and conserve his energy while thinking of how to get out of that grave. As he was just about to settle, the other drunkard woke up and realized he had company. Then he said in a drunken voice, “I tried getting out too but couldn’t. I kept being pulled back into this place just like you”. When the second drunkard heard this, somehow he managed to shoot out of the grave! How it happened even he could not explain but he said this, “I thought a dead man was talking to me and that scared me. That fear created adrenaline in me that I didn’t have before and that’s how I ended up getting out of the grave”. Lesson learned; turn your fears into energy and let them work for you.


Life will always have ups and downs, but how well prepared we are to handle those swings will determine whether we overcome or are overcome. Get this book and read more on those four essentials. Again I repeat, it was not raining when Noah built the arkBuild your ark now as you prepare for the rain.


Be ignited. Be inspired. Be influenced. Become the best version of yourself you can ever be.



PS: This article was originally published in Tanzania's Guardian On Sunday on the 13th January 2019, under my weekly column "Thoughts in Words".​




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