Unlocking the Heart and Soul of Remarkable Leadership, Keith Merron
Remarkable Leadership

Archive for December, 2011

Leadership in a Down Economy

Saturday, December 17th, 2011

I know we have had a tough ride the past couple of years. I know the economy is down. Everyone can feel it and so can I. I’m here to share some keys to success in a down economy. It just so happens that all the companies that I consult to fo

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llow this recipe and are growing even in this difficult time. I don’t believe it is just coincidence. They have done an enormous job in following a small set of crucial principles for success in any economy. While companies all around them are shrinking, these few are growing. Here are the principles that have led to success.

  1. They get that leadership is the most important factor in determining long-term success and so they spend time cultivating leadership. They hire well and they work hard at being both strong leaders individually, but also collectively.
  2. They are committed to creating an engaged workforce. No kidding, it really made a difference having such a workforce, since their workers remain not only dedicated to the success of the company, but also they are resourceful and flexible—two of the most important ingredients to success.
  3. Their strategy is focused and clear and everyone in the company understands it and buys in. They all know the three most important things and can connect their own work with the company’s success.
  4. Straight talk, coupled with open minded and openhearted communication is the key.
  5. These companies have multiple touch points for meaningful dialogue—they figure out what problems to tackle, they figure out the solutions, and they do it together. They adopt a blend of healthy direction setting leadership and inclusivity.
  6. Everyone in the company takes responsibility—there is no room for laying blame.
  7. They execute really fast—faster than their competition. (You know the story of the two friends in the woods who meet a grizzly. One starts putting on his sneakers and the other says, “That’s not going to help. Don’t you know you can’t outrun a grizzly?” The other replies, “I know, I just need to outrun you.”)

So there you have it in a nutshell—the keys to success in

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a down economy.

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Actually it’s the keys to success in any economy but is particular true in periods of financial difficulty. Here’s the rub, however. These principles have been developed over time. You can’t just bolt them on to a company. It takes time, effort, and care to operate a company consistent with these principles. Ones that do, and that did their homework a long time ago have poised themselves for at the very least survival, and at best growth in spite of what appear to be insurmountable hurdles.