Keep Calm and Carry On, Churning style

keep calm

Back at the turn of this century, Stuart Manley found an old wartime poster in a box of secondhand books. Mary Manley liked the poster so much she had it framed and hung it in their bookshop. The poster proved so popular that a year later they began selling copies.

In 2005 sales suddenly took off and the poster became the first major iconic image of the twenty-first century. It spawned many spinoffs.

Why was this?

The poster was designed to provide reassurance in time of war. In fact it was held back in reserve, for use only in case of dire emergencyIf we are responding to it now then it must be because we are feeling under same the same kinds of pressures as in wartime. (When the poster first took off, in 2005, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were still in full flow and the world was still coming to terms with 9/11.)

Since then, things may have settled, but as this time of churning continues we can all feel pressures from time to time. Many of the refugees entering Europe are literally fleeing a war zone. And imagine what it must be like this morning for the managers and owners of the Volkswagen Group. Members of the majority owner Porsche and Piech families have seen the company’s net worth fall by €25bn in two days. Imagine what you would be feeling if you were a manager at the company.

For all of us, Keep Calm and Carry On is still useful advice. In the language of Inner Leadership this is translated to become: centre and ground and deepen your connection with yourself. Make clear sense of your situation, find more opportunities  to move forward, and turn the best of them into an inspiring vision. Then go about making it happen in a calm and straightforward way.

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