Holy-constricting-economy, Batman! Things are getting tough out there. Time to limit spending; time to pull resources; time to… get scared!

What? Get scared?

Here’s the elephant in the office: Many bosses think leadership means pointing at the obstacles that lie in the path of their team. Because we go toward our focus, pointing out concerns and hazards is an act of self-sabotage – and everyone suffers.

When managers say, “Times are tough” or “It’s getting bad” the inevitable happens: times get tough! Fear mounts; people get selfish; and production dives.

This isn’t about ignoring the facts. This is about how we lead because of the facts. It’s the leader’s job to guide their team around and beyond obstacles – not into them.


Three actions that provide your company recession repellent:

  1. Develop confidence around you. Ask questions such as, “What qualities do we possess that prove we are capable?” and “What image do we want to project right now?” and “What can we do to be at our best?”
  2. Celebrate and leverage best practices. Your competition is focusing on their problems, which means they can’t focus on solutions. So they become desperate! Give yourself an advantage: celebrate the victories within your business, and then inspire creativity by asking, “How can we increase the value we provide our clients?” etc.
  3. Research shows the best companies find ways to support their teams more during difficult times. Ironically, most companies pull resources, making the job even tougher for employees. How can you increase your support for those around you?

Fear dismantles any effort to move forward. The opportunities to succeed are as numerous as they have been in the past. The only change is the face of those opportunities. Will your team be able to recognize those opportunities?

Where will you lead – where will you stomp elephants – today?

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