Monday, 2 January 2023


 Is it Mayday, Lackaday or Happy Days?

Things aren’t going so well in the UK.

We’re getting close to panic which would mean crying “mayday.” We’d prefer to be regretting where we are but putting up with it which would be “lackaday.” But “happy days” are some time in the future I’m afraid.

It’s become something that’s up to us to deal with – you and me - in the absence of the prospect of any kind of strategic leadership from the embattled government and hesitant opposition. We’re in, as I’d call it, a “leadershit crisis”. 

Your deeply held beliefs may just be wrong – 5 essential reads

So what can we do? Get angry, get involved, make a noise, talk to other people about it, meet and quiz our MPs, but, most of all, conduct our businesses and affairs in a much more resolute and positive way. Finally try to ignore all the media because with their short termism and over reaction they get in the way of progress.

Here are my ten personal strategies to consider in making us feel a little better:

  1. Resilience. We need to build our resilience to setbacks. In retrospect the reactions to Covid were excusable as nobody quite knew what we were dealing with. But the lockdowns have had an irreparably negative impact on our behaviour and our response to risk. We seem to try to avoid it totally instead of trying to understand it and manage it. We cannot thrive in a “cottonwool” world. But that’s what we created between 2000 and 2022. We simply  mustn’t do that again.

humans - A society wrapped in cotton wool - Worldbuilding Stack Exchange


  1. Optimism and positive thinking. By all means let’s be optimistic. Being upbeat is good, but we shouldn’t get drunk on optimism. Boris Johnson had only one gear which was “boosterism” and self-promotion.  As PM it didn’t work, couldn’t work and he became a shameful figure. He’s given optimism a bad name.  Tough but positive thinking is a more acceptable  way of describing optimism right now.

Boris Johnson is Labour's greatest asset – why not sit back and enjoy the  show? | The Independent


  1. Realism. The journalist Matthew Parris is often wise and his plea that we squarely face up to painful truths about taboo subjects like the NHS, are words of wisdom. We  can still be positive in the face of danger (apart from many politicians who seem terrified of the whips, number 10 and losing votes). Getting to the truth, painful or otherwise, is always our strongest way of solving problems. 

Louis Partridge on becoming Sid Vicious in 'Pistol'


  1. “The people” can be wrong. They were wrong in 1933 in Germany and in the UK in 2016.  The lesson of Brexit was assuming a democratic vote was stronger than truth. Too many of us accepted the will of the people ahead of the lies they were fed. Worse - the issue was too serious for a weak Prime minister to rebut so he didn’t fight the nonsense. We’ve suffered deservedly. But being intelligent and pragmatic we can resolve the issue. Being smarter economic partners of Europe would be a sensible start to recovery despite the crossness that would get from ardent Brexiteers.

350m Brexit claim was 'too low', says Boris Johnson - BBC News


  1.  It isn’t easy. Spurn people who offer what I call “superglue solutions,” solutions that work instantly and apparently permanently. When anyone says “it’s very simple, quick and easy to fix” disregard them. My wife says I used to say this a lot. No more. Life is just a little bit too complex now as Ms. Truss discovered to her (and our) cost.

Loctite Original Universal Super Glue – 3g Tube. | Superglue | YPO


  1. Momentum is vital. If you’re in business try to create momentum and a sense of movement, news and action for your brand and your company. If you aren’t in business just refuse to get stuck in a rut. In business, momentum is something the big “supertanker” businesses find hard to create. So beware if you’re a big “supertanker” brand or market leader. Watch out for competitive, nimble destroyers, small and agile craft who have less to lose and lots to gain. 

sonic faster faster by XAMOEL on DeviantArt


  1. Get to work. I’m currently reading more about our mental health than productivity. Yes, of course mental health matters but so too does productivity. Since lockdowns my sense is we’ve become just a bit lazy. After Covid the people  who were economically inactive grew significantly, many of whom were unlikely to work again. Many of these had long term heath issues but many didn’t. Surely we must all improve our work ethic to make ourselves more successful.  

The 'Work Hard & You'll Succeed' Mantra is NOT a Myth - The STRIVE


  1. Your customers – love them. The customers you have or have recently gained are more precious than those you hope to get. Customer loyalty is a prize too many businesses disregard (to their cost). Loyal customers need special attention especially when, as it is now, the going is tough for them - as well as you. Don’t relax your love, care and attention for them. They need you, not just your products. The harder you try to build your relationship with them the more of them you’ll keep. On a more personal level don’t take anyone for granted – your spouse, your relatives or your friends. It’s time to refresh friendships.

Love your customers, more than your products." | ADITYA BHAVSAR


  1. Be better not wacky. We hear a lot about the need for innovation nowadays, probably too much talk and not enough action given our collective, dismal track record in investment. But continuous improvement (this is the Japanese concept of Kaizen which stands for continuous improvement through evolution not just innovation) is what we really need. Breakthrough innovation is unusual and often resembles a solution seeking a problem rather than vice versa. Let’s focus on getting better not just getting interestingly different. After all “New Improved” has always been a compelling sales claim.

New Improved Rubber Stamp Royalty Free SVG, Cliparts, Vectors, And Stock  Illustration. Image 68343977.
  1. Make a resolution. 2023 should be our year for breaking the insidious grip of “doom-loop thinkers” with our own tough, positive thinking – “pragmatic optimism” if you like to call it that. It’s not the year to retrench, slow down or seem weak. One of the long term effects of Covid has been to undermine our ambition, make us lose our nerve and leave it to opportunists to make money. Happy Days will come, possibly by 2024 if we manage to be resolute, invest in the future and have self-belief in what we do. And remember pragmatic optimism. Pessimists just hate it. But so do competitors. On the other hand those close to you at work or at home should love it. 

Becoming A Pragmatic Optimist


         Happy New Year and remember hard work works.

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