During the current economic turmoil, there is a considerable amount of uncertainty and fear about the future.
However, recessions and market slowdown are also times for organisations and leaders to take stock and realign their goals.
Strong leadership is required during recessions. It is easy to make money when the market is doing well, but it requires skill and leadership to navigate a company out of a downturn.
In these times, leaders need to spend more time on the ground, listen to the market, watch trends and engage with their teams.
While it is normal for business contracts to be on hold during uncertain times, it is also important to reach out to your customers. Show them that you genuinely care by finding out how they are doing.
In my business, I often meet people who have lost their jobs. A close friend in outplacements once said to me: "We can play a part in making sure that the people we care about land safely." It does not matter if you cannot help everyone just let them know you care.
In a recession, the first question most frequently asked is, "Hows business?" Usually, most people tend to share how bad the situation has been.
When I first came across the words, "Success attracts success", I stopped dead in my tracks. I began to think about the messages that I had sent out to my clients and employees. I decided to conduct a little experiment whereby I made a pact with my team to tell anyone who cared to know that business has been good.
Often, people were curious how we kept our profits up. Initially, we made up all sorts of reasons. After about two weeks, business got better and from then on, we made money in every recession. I dont think it had to do with what we said. Rather, it was how we projected ourselves attitude fuels altitude.
Use this time to reflect on matters on a business level and on the personal front. Use this time to upgrade the skills of you and your teams. Make time to re-organise and re-prioritise: spend more time with your family and reconnect with your old friends.
Opportunities open up when you network, so get out and meet more people. This is also a good time to embark on community work as working with the less fortunate can be enriching and uplifting.
Inspire your team members, especially your leadership team. Get them to go out and motivate others. Great things can be achieved with upbeat teams. Engage their minds with new projects, plans, learning activities and success stories.
Do not cut back completely on marketing activities. In fact, the reverse may be true, as you can actually gain ground over your competitors. The idea is to find activities that would make you stand apart from others in the playing field. Combining business with community is something I favour personally.
Many organisations will take the opportunity to rationalise costs, create savings through various means including outsourcing, offshoring and resizing.
Take an interest in how your organisation is adapting to these changes. Also, track your competition to see how they are addressing the market. This will give you clues on where your industry is heading and what you need to do to help your organisation thrive in these conditions.
As a business owner, I feel that there is plenty of room for this activity. Question everything: monitor hidden costs, wastage and also consider opportunity costs. Leaders also need to lead by example by cutting back on their own costs.
Put on a smile
Your behaviour shapes your mood and outlook. Expand your energy and circle of influence with positivity. You can start by counting your blessings and finding your sense of humour. Have fun, and you will attract people to your cause like a magnet.