Proven Leadership Strategies During Challenging Economic Times


We have been in plenty of doors within almost every business sector and industry and have observed that not many organizational leaders have a strategy or plan for the near term, let alone the long term.
There are many factors as to why, including fear of the unknown, the desire to just leave well enough alone, the thought that the early indications of a financial rebound are simply an aberration are all contributing to the malaise that currently exists in American business.

But as many of us know, the United States has survived and rebounded from 10 recessions between 1948 and 2002 and all indications are that this one will be no different. So what are business leaders to do? What’s the plan?

Although every company is different and not all solutions fit every organization, the following strategies are tried and true and should be part of every organization’s plan moving forward:

1. Ensure that you have a strategic plan for your organization and don’t be afraid of tweaking it as necessary based on updated information or changing market conditions. The idea of developing and following a 1 to 3 year plan without making necessary revisions based on new information or changing trends at best can be likened to operating blind and at worst could be business suicide.

2. Commit to never returning to your past when it comes to headcount and human capital overhead. The days of old which included multiple layers of executives with extremely high base salaries supplemented by exorbitant perks and incentives are a thing of the past, thankfully. Companies are doing much more with much less, which should prove to strategic leadership that the days of entitlement are dead and gone!

3. Ensure that you have the right talent in the right jobs within your organization. Now more than ever, it is extremely important that you have your human capital talent performing duties that are a match to their skills and abilities. One very positive result of the economic downturn has been the identification of those individuals who cannot keep up because they lack the skills, abilities and/or motivation to perform their job duties. If you have not already done so, now is the time to identify those individuals, assess whether they still fit within the organization and take appropriate action.

4. Know what the market is paying and adjust wages accordingly. Although money is not the only reason why your key people stay with your organization, it is a key reason and will play a part in whether they stay with you once the economy is in full swing again. The war for talent is real and you don’t want to be in a losing battle with your competition, because you did not react quickly enough to the changing marketplace.

5. Finally, embrace the role of the strategic leader of your organization. Although you don’t have all of the answers and your crystal ball is no better than other leaders in similar roles, don’t be afraid to seek out assistance from professionals who can provide you with insights and strategies that you may not have considered. The number of organizational leaders who have sought us out for the purpose of executive mentoring is at an all time high for our organization and the feedback that we are receiving from our mentees is that they cannot put a dollar amount on the value they and their organizations have received from this process.

Remember, your team is looking to you to set the course and drive the direction of the organization. Now is a critical time to provide the kind of leadership necessary to see your organization through these difficult times. Ignoring the challenges or hoping they will fix themselves is never the answer. The five recommendations above are a good starting point and don’t be afraid to utilize your leadership team, this is a great opportunity for them to be involved and contribute strategically to the organization and its success.

Please Contact us or call us at 1-480-467-0344 (USA) and we would be pleased to discuss, clarify or expand on any of the above points.

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