The 5 Stages of Grief

It sure has been quite a few days for all of us.  While I can’t know all of the challenges and struggles you each have on a daily basis, know that I feel for you.  I truly wish that we could just make it all go away. 

For me, this feels like a tremendous loss. It feels like I have lost a loved one and I have clearly felt all 5 stages of grief.  Last Month, what now seems like years ago, we all wanted to deny what was going on.  We were worried about our supply chain and what parts might be delayed coming from China.  As we started to acknowledge that this was going to impact us, I started to get angry.  We had done everything right.  We had record sales, our brands were growing, we had teams working do take cost our of our products and find the best new ones to develop. We were building parts efficiently, making new investments and delivering products to consumers at a record pace.  So, I moved on to bargaining.  What can we do to avoid the pain this is going to cause?  Can we make sure it doesn’t impact us, our employees or our customers?  Have we made the right decisions? If our competitors weren’t taking this so seriously, why were we?  They were all staying open, should we find a way to stay at full strength? In the end, we made the decisions that were in the best interest of our organization and team.  The reality is that we had done the right planning and we were ready.   We knew we had to be prepared for the inevitable, but it didn’t mean we had to like it.

Monday evening, I will admit, I finally reached the Depression stageAs I pulled away from the facility, it hurt.  I knew there wasn’t anything I could do to stop this entirely. I knew that I wouldn’t see everyone the next day. I knew I was going to miss all of you.

That left me with one more stage of grief.  Yesterday morning, I made the decision that it was time for Acceptance. But, let me be very clear:  I didn’t choose to accept to be a victim in this situation. I didn’t accept that there was nothing we could do.  I decided to Accept this Challenge.  I decided that we will find a way to be the best, as we always do, given what is in front of us.  And, I must admit, it seems as if many of you were ready as well.  We managed to ship anything that wasn’t bolted down in the facility this week.  The shipping team accepted this challenge and responded with shear determination to support our customers. (We shipped over 2,000 Exhaust units, 1,300 Intakes, and 1,800 Marine units this month!) I Accept that we don’t have the answer to every question, but we have the right people to find an answer.  I Accept that this is hard, but not impossible.  I Accept that our business will be different than it has been.  And, most importantly, I Accept that we will be better than ever.

The facility is mostly empty today.  However, as we mentioned, we will have people in the during this time. As we discussed, we have been identified as a supplier to numerous “Essential Businesses.” So, in order to support our Minimum Business Operations, warranty needs, and our essential customers, we will be working to develop a plan for an extremely limited team, to perform some of these tasks.  We will ensure we have plenty of social distance and continue to take every step necessary to continue to exceed every requirement in the Stay at Home Order and keep everyone safe.

Thank you for everything over the past few weeks.  Thank you for Accepting this Challenge with me.

Please keep yourself and your loved ones healthy.