Achilles Group + Mark

Want to encourage your people when business challenges really heat up? 

Don’t forget to water…

Lessons from a Texas Heat Wave: Surviving Business Stress

In the scorching heat of our current Texas summer, our lawns are straining and showing signs of deterioration. The once lush and vibrant oasis struggles under the weight of relentless stress, and much like your grass under scorching temperatures, your business can face difficulties that threaten its growth and prosperity.  

Achilles Mission is to “Equip and Encourage Leaders to Make Smart People Decisions”; today we want to share why we place so much emphasis on the word “Encourage”.

At times in Houston a tropical depression can settle in and shower rain every 30 minutes for days.  We get soaked and wet feet while our St Augustine yards get very green and soggy.  Then when we have a summer like this filled with endless 100 degree days our lovely St Augustine turns dry, limp and if we fail to react it turns absolutely crispy.

In our climate it takes regular deep watering to encourage hot weather growth.  Attempts to sustain with light brief sprinkles mostly evaporate and do little to strengthen roots and heat tolerance.  Obedient to the laws of nature we have to understand that different grass varieties have diverse needs related to changes in sun exposure, rainfall and temperatures. 

Now, take this illustration and apply it to the “laws of team and individual motivation.  All of us are different, so for one just a little encouragement at regular intervals sustains, while others of us need that deep watering to enable us to gain the strength and resilience needed to tolerate the heat of a long period of stressed business conditions.

Heartfelt and timely encouragement is so much more than just an occasional splash of appreciation.  True encouragement requires that I know you, and your tolerance for the pressure of overload or the stress of business downturns. 

Here are some efforts that can help you maintain a deep watering approach to encourage your teams.

When the heat is on

Stay Calm and Composed                          During a crisis, maintaining a calm demeanor is essential. Leaders who can stay composed inspire confidence in their teams and make better decisions.

Assess the Situation                                   How is the team holding up?  Identify the root causes of work stress, potential consequences, and any immediate and long-term implications.

Communicate Transparently                     Maintain open and honest communication with your team, customers, and stakeholders. Transparency builds trust and fosters a sense of unity during challenging times.

Build Stronger Relationships                    Establish effective relationships before things heat up

Foster a Supportive Culture                      Cultivate a workplace culture that values teamwork, collaboration, and support. A united team is better equipped to face challenges together.

Encourage Problem-Solving                      Empower your team to contribute ideas and solutions. Encourage brainstorming sessions and foster an environment where creativity is valued.

Maintain Financial Discipline                    During a time of business stress, prudent financial management is crucial. Monitor cash flow, control costs, and prioritize essential expenditures.

Monitor Progress                                        Regularly review your business priorities in the face of tough conditions and adapt as needed. Stay agile and adjust strategies based on the effectiveness of your actions.

Focus on Customer Needs                         Keep a pulse on changing customer needs and behaviors. Adapt your products or services to align with evolving demands.

Learn from Experience                               Reflect on the challenges you’ve faced and the strategies you’ve implemented. Learn from successes and setbacks to continuously refine your resilience approach.

Celebrate Small Wins                                 Acknowledge and celebrate even the smallest victories achieved during the challenging period. Recognizing progress boosts morale and encourages proactive efforts.

Embrace a Growth Mindset                      View challenges as opportunities for growth. Maintain a positive outlook and encourage your team to embrace a growth mindset as well.

Lead by Example                                         Demonstrate resilience in your own actions and decisions. Your leadership sets the tone for how your team approaches challenges; if you are calm they will be calm.

Seek Opportunity within Adversity        Look for silver linings and areas where your business could potentially benefit from the conditions. For example, a seasonal slowing of sales might be an opportunity to work on a key business process  in advance of the next upturn in demand.

Adapt and Pivot                                           Be willing to pivot your business model if necessary. Adapt to new market trends and changing consumer behaviors to stay relevant.

Invest in Learning and Development      Use downtime or slower periods to invest in training and development for your leadership. Enhance skills and knowledge that can expand their ability to equip and encourage their people.

The blazing Texas sun may stress your lawn, but with the right care and encouragement it can rebound and flourish. The same principle applies to your business and your people.

*Houston business owners and executives come to Achilles Group to build a solid HR firewall and to equip their leadership teams with the philosophies, principles and disciplines they need to be effective and profitable. If you are not already a part of the Achilles Group family of clients and want to find out how we can help you, contact us at:


•            email:

•            281-469-1800

We would love to hear from you.

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