Leadership In A Down Market

Our market is in the tank … What do I do ?

The question is a common one these days … and I wish it wasn’t the question leaders ask. Because, it tells me there is a leadership problem.

An effective leader would not ask – “what do I do?” … but would ask – “where are we in our plan?” … an effective leader would know what to do and they would have known what to do, well before the market started to slip or their business tanked.

It amazes me to read about a company (no names please) losing $200 million in a quarter (instead of achieving a budgeted profitable quarter) and the CEO sends out a press release indicating that they are going to look at all possible ways to lower costs to get back on track. Well gee boss BRILLIANT !!

Why didn’t you think of this 3 months ago … or 6 months ago … or if you were half decent, a year ago ?

The problem I see is too many leaders do a poor job of planning – long range planning – strategic planning. They may go through the motions of a formal process, but some just aren’t good at planning. Leaders who have difficulty planning should get some help.

Exceptional leaders do not spend much time in “today”, they look ahead 1 to 3 years and plan accordingly. They will review the progress in their business plans today – modify as necessary and move on to the  picture down the road.

To key to survive and thrive in a down market is planning … not reacting. There is no doubt that many things will have to be done to survive, but decisions must be made in the context of a well thought out plan. A survival plan must consider today and the future – otherwise there will be no future.

Don’t make a bad quarter become a last minute crisis … stakeholders deserve better.

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One Response

  1. Sounds like you are right on target. By working on being excellent over the long haul with your products, service and services is the best insurance for having better results in a downturn than your competitiors. I go to a small French restaurant here in Orlando called Le Coq Au Vin. Last week I was talking to the owner and he was telling me his business is hardly off at all. Why? Because he offers excellent value. prices are fair and he even offers half portions. His wine prices are reasonable and you can even bring your own bottle of wine for 15.00. His wife works the door and he works the kitchen. The food and service are excellent. They really make you feel special. He told me he quit reading all of the newspapers and magazines with all of the new fads and he just focuses on the basics of quality and value…..Lee Cockerell

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