At a meeting last week someone commented that many people stayed up to midnight on December 31, 2008, just to make sure they were awake to say good-bye to 2008. 2008 was certainly not the best of years. The economy began contracting early in the year, and by mid-September was spiraling downward, out of control.
As I meet with current and prospective clients I have been listening carefully to how they are making sense of the present and their future. I believe that there are three ways to recession proof your business that are all within a leader's control.
The first is focus. This is the time to focus on your company's core strengths, core competencies, and key customers. It is also time to fully focus on achieving results. We all have to expand our possibilities. On the other hand, as a consultant and coach, prospective clients want to know that I have solved their unique problems successfully before. My clients are experiencing that as well. Their customers want high quality products and services that produce results. Period.
The second way to recession proof your business is follow-through. If you say you are going to do something, then make sure you do it. In my work as a leadership team expert coach, I am constantly amazed at how often teams make commitments to each other, and then do nothing. These commitments are often central to the success of their business. If internal commitments are not kept, then commitments to customers often suffer as well.
The third is fearlessness. Last month, I met with one of my clients. As he spoke about his plans for meeting the company's revenue goals in a tough economic climate, I sensed some hesitancy in his voice. I also detected a sense of futility in the possibility that his executive peers would all pull together, share resources, and work toward a common goal. If there ever was a time to unravel cross-functional relationship tangles, this is it.
Resolve to focus, follow-through, and be fearless. There will be winners in 2009 and it might as well be you.
If your team is stuck or losing traction, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 415-564-7135 for a complimentary 10-minute consultation.