Follow the Leaders
Early April, just as the COVID-19 crisis was completely revealing itself in Virginia, VACEOs Executive Director Scot McRoberts spoke with Sam Dibert, the President of Dibert Valve and Fitting Company, about the steps he was taking to manage his priorities and team.
Besides meeting with his VACEOs Roundtable every week, (instead of monthly), Sam finds that his “3-3-3 Tool” is a simple and effective way for business owners to reduce a lot of the static noise and information overload that naturally happens during a crisis. Below is a partial transcript of his conversation. (Find this CEO Chat and others on the VACEOs YouTube channel.)
How are you managing “this new normal”? Please leave a comment and share your thoughts.
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SCOT: “Tell us about the tool and why you turn to it.”
SAM: “Well, it’s something that I was just thinking about as this began to unfold and things were just changing so fast that I found myself getting overwhelmed with the amount of information coming from so many sources — everybody you knew. I was just feeling overwhelmed. What we thought was if we could take a break and try to look at the future in three distinct segments — three days, three weeks, and three months — and then build our plans and what we need to do around those timeframes, it helped a lot.
So the Three-Day, those are the challenges you see right in front of you. You know, you have to do it. It might be getting your loan in, [or taking care of a] real specific issue with a customer. Maybe somebody gets sick.
Three Weeks are our challenges that are still around the corner. You know, they’re there. You don’t have to deal with them right yet. You know you don’t have to act on them. Maybe you need just be formulating some thinking and some strategies.
And the Three-Month is really about the unknown, and that’s what’s over the horizon. How will we know when we’re kinda hitting the backend of this one? What will be the new normal? So it’s a lot about trying to figure out what kind of information can I count on to help inform me, help me do that. So that’s really the gist of it. And then when people see the tool, there’s just some prompts there [to help them think].
It’s not a project management tool, but it will help you really sort through what you need to do next and help you prioritize things.
I think everybody wants to know what do I do next, what do I do after that, and what to do after that. And you know, when you get to that point, you’ve got enough to do for now.
It helps you sleep at night, helps you do the next thing. But you might also find when you look into this tool, it’ll help you to enlist your leadership team — people in your company who are probably more anxious than you.”
Related COVID-19 video:
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