Last week while playing golf, I heard a golfer from a nearby tee box yell, “heads up!”

If you’re a golfer, you know that the proper bellow for hitting a ball in the near vicinity of others is “fore!”

The difference is important.

“Fore” means duck and cover. Golfers are taught to cover their heads and turn their back towards the ball so that if hit, it’s on the backside.

“Heads up” is a literal expression commonly used when one throws a ball and is expecting that the other person will look up so as to catch it.

I’m here to be that voice correctly yelling “heads up” to all business owners, leaders, and entrepreneurs.

In early 2020, a client expressed deep concern about the business damage that COVID could bring very shortly after the first case was announced. She feared that this was going to be harmful for her business.

I replied that while I thought COVID was something to keep an eye on, I wasn’t overly concerned.

She was right. I was wrong. Really wrong.

With recent unloosing of guidelines, summer travel, and vaccine lethargy being advanced, there seems to be a feeling that the worst is past and we will slowly move into more recovery and “normalcy.” People are tired of hearing about COVID even as this highly contagious delta variant picks up added momentum.

This is where I bellow at the top of my lungs, “heads up!”

There are reports about the spread of the variant from even those of us vaccinated. I’m writing this missive while wearing a mask riding on a ferry.  Children are now more at risk, and unvaccinated if under 12 years old. And I fear that when countless athletes leave the Olympic Games in Tokyo to return to all parts of the planet, that we will find a “super spreader” dilemma touching the world.

Those not prepared today – right now – for their business to return to a complete lockdown before the end of the year, are shortsighted and even possibly negligent.

We are already seeing a tightening of face mask regulations. We are hearing more information on protecting ourselves and others, even for those vaccinated. It’s like a huge flashing warning sign to all of us that what we experienced after summer in 2020 could come back again in a more pernicious way.

Let’s be clear on my message, though. I’m not yelling “fore.” 

I am not suggesting you duck and cover. What I am recommending is that unlike last time when we were all caught flat-footed, that we now need to be prepared to catch the ball being thrown at us, since it might be coming in with some serious velocity.

I might be wrong and this could fizzle like a sluggish firecracker. That would be great. But it costs almost nothing to be mentally and operationally ready and prepared to quickly swivel (I know you’re all tired of “pivot,” so I did).

I’d rather have you in a position to catch the ball cleanly rather than getting plunked on the side of the head with it.

Heads up. Now.

Quote of the Week:

“This is the precept by which I have lived. Prepare for the worst; expect the best; and take what comes”

~ Hannah Arendt, 20th century German historian

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