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Stay a step ahead in bad times

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in Best-Practices Leadership,Leaders & Managers

You cannot lead an anxious workforce by making them even more worried. If you warn employees about the possibility of a recession or discuss other doomsday scenarios, you risk driving them to despair.

On the other hand, relentless cheerleading amid shrinking profits won’t enhance your credibility and will have limited impact if people sense more pain in the near term.

Try these tactics:

  • Highlight how your organization stands apart. Just because every other competitor in your industry is struggling, that doesn’t mean you must surrender to the tide. Find a differentiator that enables you and your team to separate from the pack.

    Explain how your organization has established a niche that provides steady revenues. For example, insurers that sell long-term care policies face headwinds as claim payments soar. But if those same carriers focus on certain kinds of life insurance products, they can shift gears and capture more lucrative business. 
  • Tackle problems head-on. Talking about what’s wrong won’t get you very far. It’s better to take decisive action.

    Upon becoming Microsoft’s CEO in 2014, Satya Nadella faced myriad problems. The company’s once-torrid growth had slowed, and it lacked a major presence in two vital markets: mobile devices and cloud computing services.

    Unfazed, Nadella restored relations with old foes to make Microsoft’s software compatible with Apple and Android devices. He also gave away Windows with certain devices and boosted Microsoft’s cloud business.
— Adapted from “Three Things Good Leaders Do in Bad Times,” Geoff Colvin, www.geoffcolvin.com.

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