Leadership in a Downturn
Well, its official it’s a downturn, and it is felt nowhere more than in Calgary. Certainly cutting costs and holding back on new projects bubbles up to the top of most leaders’ “to do” lists, but this is the time to clean house and position yourself for the upswing that we know will follow.
Jim Collins (GOOD TO GREAT: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… And Others Don’t, Jim Collins, Author, published by Williams Collins, HarperBusiness (320p) ISBN 978-0-06-662099-2) provides us with some valuable insight when he talks about the bus analogy and staff. As he puts it and quoted loosely, it is time to “get the right people on the bus, get the wrong people off the bus, and make sure the right people are in the right seats”.
In tough economic times, the last thing that you should be doing is not dealing with problem employees. If they can’t meet your expectations, then they need to go. Your other employees have probably been dealing with them for too long already and they will thank you when you with these problems.
Your good employees also need attention, and now is the time to get people prepared for the eventual upswing. Training can prepare them for the next level in their job, ensure they have the right skills, and generally refocus employees to your vision and strategy.
Another timely action is to ask your employees what they think your organization should be doing in these tough times. They are the experts in their field and can provide insightful suggestions for improvements, cuts and efficiencies, and they have a stake in how things turn out, so involve them.
Now is not the time to employ your “wishing and hoping things will get better” strategy. Take action to weather the tough times and be prepared for the economic recovery with your best foot forward.
(Read more by Jim Collins, including this article on “Good to Great” to learn more about leadership http://www.jimcollins.com/article_topics/articles/good-to-great.html)
(photo credit: sub-banner-on-the-bus.jpg www.wymetro.com)