Every business goes through periods of high stress. It’s when varying combinations of sluggish sales, tight cash flow, employee problems, productivity issues, customer complaints, and the like, merge together like the weather systems in The Perfect Storm. Business stress can lead to what I fondly call “owners’ nights” – waking up at 3:00 a.m. in a cold sweat. High-stress situations can lead to a further degrading of the issues that initiated the pressure in the first place. The inherent danger is allowing such situations to spiral out of control.
If you equate high-stress situations to a steam boiler, it’s easy to see how they can lead to catastrophe. As the pressure gauge enters the red danger zone, the weakest parts of the boiler system begin to spring leaks. The steam and hissing from the leaks not only grab attention, they warn of impending disaster if not managed and contained. Continue reading ‘The Pressure Test: Manage or Meltdown’