Leadership - 5 Lessons from the Current Recession
by Duncan Brodie
Many parts of the world are in recession or at least facing a downturn in the economy. At these times, redundancies and cutbacks are announced on almost a daily basis. Like all events, the current economic challenges present the opportunity for learning for current and aspiring business leaders. So what are 5 key lessons from the current recession?
Lesson 1: Take a long term view
Businesses exist or are established with a view to growing and existing for a long time. With so much information so freely available about opportunities to make gains now or the constant focus in the media about how bad things are, it is easy to lose sight of the bigger picture. By keeping a focus on the bigger picture and recognising that the economy generally goes in cycles, you can avoid taking short term decisions which are not in the best long term.
Lesson 2: Don't put all your eggs in one basket
In business it is important not to put all of your eggs in one basket. It is important to have a portfolio of products and/or services so that you can spread risk and reduce the impact of downturns in the economy. This is exactly what we do when it comes to investing or saving. We have a range of options to spread the risk.
Lesson 3: Continually innovate
Successful businesses don't stand still. They are continually looking for new products or services they can offer or new and innovative ways of offering what they currently have. In large organisations it is easy to become complacent, to stop looking out for ways to address an unmet need or to believe that the good times will stay for ever. Having different products and services at different stages of the life cycle is important and this requires constant innovation.
Lesson 4: Focus on the way forward
Pick up any newspaper, listen to radio or watch TV and chances you will come across lots of negativity about how difficult things are. While without doubt things are challenging at the moment, there is little point in investing time and energy focusing on what has happened. Time and energy focusing on the way forward is much more productive and beneficial than focusing on what has happened. Make a commitment to focus on how you move forward and achieve even more success.
Lesson 5: Expect uncertainty
Uncertainty is part of parcel of being in a leadership role and it is essential to your success that you expect, accept and prepare the best you can for uncertainty. Regularly look at trends in the area which you operate. Consider what might create uncertainty. Develop your ideas on how you will address the uncertainties if they arise.
Bottom line - The economy will always go through periods when it is strong and periods when it is weak. As a leader you need to prepare yourself the best you can to prosper in both good and bad times.
Duncan Brodie may be contacted at http://www.goalsandachievements.co.uk
Duncan Brodie of Goals and Achievements Ltd (G&A) works with individuals, teams and organisations to develop their management and leadership capability. Sign up for his free e-course and monthly newsletter at http://www.goalsandachievements.co.uk