So there I was, doing my lockdown exercise in the ‘sortacountryside’.

Stomping through the Cheshire rural-industrial flatlands, splintered by deserted ‘B’ roads, the M56 motorway, the sewage treatment works and…………out of nowhere, a family of swans, gliding their way along a small stretch of water.

The head of the family is about to negotiate a steep man-made drop in the water level of the canal with his/her second-in-command harbouring second thoughts. The level change was severe and as I ate my sandwich I wondered how they’d all make make it down to the next level ; the current was much too strong for them to swim back.

‘You go first and I’ll keep an eye on the kids’, the second swan seems to be indicating.

As it happens the leader took a full minute to negotiate the ‘jump’…and then slid down the watery slope wings flapping and splashing in the foam.


The other swan followed suit, closely trailed by the three cygnets.

This got me to thinking how, over the past few months, so many of US have had to reassess the direction in which we’re travelling, professionally and personally.

At some stage we’re maybe going to have to, like the swan, make a BIG decision that will affect our lives and the lives of our workforce, customers, stakeholders or family. Are we going to assess the risks carefully, discuss it with others or just take a big, bold leap of faith and plunge headfirst because ‘that’s what we’ve always done’ ?

Maybe this is where the swan metaphor falls flat but sometimes it helps to have an external pair of eyes and ears when you’re about to do something BIG with your business.

In my particular field, that’s engaging in crisis communications or announcing a big PR moment like the launch of a new product or campaign, or change of company direction.

Whatever decision you make it’s essential you get your communications right. That might involve revising or rehearsing your media communications strategy with an experienced media consultant.

Get my drift?

Because like the swan you may not get a chance to get it right a second time.