Pause, breathe, and look downstream

Posted by Ron Jungalwalla, Alexandra Victoria

02 April 2020

In a previous life I was an outdoor educator and commercial river guide. The role involved teaching potential rafting guides the basics of the craft. They were wonderful days in wonderful environments with mostly wonderful people.
After basic river craft theory we would start the practical learning on class 2 moving water; a low grade classification, where class 1 is barely more than moving bath water and class 6 is where you do not want to be, even as a professional!

Students would soon learn that “technical” water meant rapids requiring forethought and manoeuvrability, even on low grade rapids. Without fail (and essential to the learning process), the newcomers to the art of rafting would get caught up on a rock or two in the middle of their first rapids. Also without fail, their first and often frantic reaction would be to try and free the raft by whatever means possible as quickly as possible, perhaps to avoid witnesses and embarrassment! As an instructor, I would ask them to stop and consider two questions:
    1 Are we, or the raft, in immediate(or indeed any) danger? The answer being a resounding no!
    2 Have you looked downstream to plan your next moves and route once free of the rocks? Again, the now sheepish answer was no!

So what’s the point here? For many of us the Covid19 outbreak has ground business to a halt; we are stuck on a rock midstream. It is very tempting for us to leap into a reactive state as we are all new to this Pandemic “game”. I believe that if we had an experienced instructor they would counsel us to stop, breathe, look downstream and plan the next part of our journey before trying to free the raft. As leaders, I believe we are all capable of being our own instructors.

It is certain that there WILL be a recovery. Let’s take advantage of this pause to breathe, look downstream, and plan. Once we are freed from the current rocks, those who will navigate the recovery successfully are those who have spent the time and energy during the current crisis in planning and preparing for that day.

As the ancients used to say “This too shall pass!” Happy rafting, and do contact us if we can help

Ron Jungalwalla, Quest Group Global Pty Ltd,

After Covid