Stephen Newman’s Blog

Tough times demand tough decisions

In my business I meet many leaders of industry. Some of the ones who stand out to me over the last few years are the guys who’ve ridden the most challenging waves.

I don’t mean the lucky ones. I mean the leaders who’ve shown their mettle through lean business periods. These are the sales directors who’ve known when it’s tough out there and applied 100% focus to improving their game. Precise, skilled and fearless.

Think about it. If you’re going for an operation, you don’t want a nervous surgeon with shaky hands. You want a firm decision maker who doesn’t waver when there are tough decisions to be made. Because it’s always better to deliver tough messages sooner, rather than later.

Looking back, I can see that the top leaders over the last ten years, are the ones who made the decision to concentrate on the areas they could control.

They looked reality in the eye and helped everyone around them face the facts too. When the going got rough, they were ready to flex and action their plan B.

So what does staying flexible really mean? Is it having a contingency plan? Plan B,C,D,E or contingency strategies – whatever you like to call it, is having a game plan that’s tailored to different economic climates.

I’ve looked at the constant change organisations have experienced over the past 10 years and watched the changes accelerate fast. Curved balls have hammered down the business lane thick and fast.

No one could have thought through every change of strategy. Yet some won and some lost. I put this down to not thinking about the future and I don’t mean feeling your way blindly ahead, I mean changing your “What if?” thinking to “What now?”

It’s more than likely that you’ll meet more adverse change and surprises in the future that could throw your carefully considered plan completely out of kilter.

It makes sense to be prepared with your contingency plan now. A fully thought out plan B that anticipates any weaknesses in your strategy, is sure to win through.

So much for the last ten years. Just make sure you’re one of the winners of the next ten. I want to see you top of my list in 2021. Now I’m interested in helping you find out how you’re going to do it.

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