Resist The Urge to Pull Back During Tough Times


Today, I am in Malaysia, getting ready to speak to the Human Resource Development Congress on how to become Tougher than the Times.  It is such an honor to be here, because I am surrounded by members of an organization whose goals irritate the status quo and defy natural tendencies.  You see, each person here is here to GROW and EXPAND… rather than simply to “survive”.

The natural tendency in tough times is to pull back and protect boundaries rather than courageously taking new ground.  However, by “scaling back”, we impose the biggest risk of all to our organizations.  Tough times require MORE from each of us…but especially from our leaders.

Tom Peters has been known for his advice on managing during bad economic times since the 1980’s.  In fact, he recently wrote the following about running a business in a time of “significant and sustained economic disarray”:

“Instant, mindless cutting of R&D or training in the face of a downturn is often counterproductive – or, rather, downright stupid…. [This] panicky across-the-board slash and burn tactics… de-motivate and alienate the workforce at exactly the wrong moment.”

I couldn’t have said it better and I couldn’t agree more.  In fact, my personal clients who are using this time to do MORE are accomplishing MORE… seeing MORE sales… and grabbing MORE of the market … Essentially, they are taking customers away from companies that are DE-motivating their employees and doing LESS for their customers.  In this way, the strongest companies will again rise to the top.

What are YOU doing to move your workforce FORWARD?  HOW are you equipping them to be “tougher than the times”?


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