Conditions aren’t as important as the preparations to handle the conditions.

In Alaska, we took an excursion in a small boat with 6 other passengers to see a remote island and all the sea animals one hopes to see in Alaska. The outfitter had us put on bulky “dry suits” over our clothes that would keep us warm as well as keep us floating in the event of an emergency. The extra insulation prepared us well for the adventure and we had a great time despite hours of being exposed to wind, sea spray, and chilly temperatures.

The conditions today are rough to say the least. Many leaders have found the last year to be the most challenging of their career. Next year (while looking better and better) will still be choppy. Being well-outfitted and prepared is essential to weather the expected continuation of tough conditions.

Here’s what you will need to be well-prepared for the next several months:

An updated and clear strategy. Any strategies were formulated prior to the pandemic need to be tossed out and replaced with new approaches that fully reflect the massive changes that have occurred. Effective strategy will concentrate energy and create beneficial feelings of excitement and optimization in you and others.

A cohesive and energized team. Your team (direct reports and peers) is essential in providing a calm, focused, resource to address all of today’s challenges. There is a reason for circling the wagons; it concentrates strengths and resources together. Survival experts will tell you that those in a group are much more likely to maintain the mindset necessary to think clearly and do what needs to be done. They also look out for those that might need some extra help along the way.

Performance habits to support healthy emotions, health and mindsets. Leaders have infinite creativity to address their issues, but only finite energy to put ideas into action. Do not discard the habits and activities (good sleep, good exercise, healthy diversions, etc.) that keep you at the top of your game. Now is not the time to be too busy to be at your best.

We can’t control the conditions we face, but we can prepare so that we can move along with positivity and effectiveness until conditions change yet again.