Sep 30, 2010

Leadership in the Era of Economic Uncertainty

Top 5 reasons why you might want to read this book
by Ram Charan

To paraphrase Thomas Paine, "These are the times that try CEOs' souls."

No one puts it better than CEO of one IT company:

‘’As a CEO you are busy nowadays - very, very busy. Reading a book - no way! Not for you! At least not right now. You are so busy, that even if your spouse asked for a divorce you wouldn't recognize that.

That is what this book is about. Your Bank is in the process of asking for a divorce, and you are busy with what? ‘’

Another thing that struck me is that CEO I worked with told me, ''I know all this.'' He ran out of cash a few months later. The company failed. Focused on income statement, neglected cash flow, bank divorced him. This time around there was no other bank ready to marry him. Ouch. I don’t like saying ‘’I told you so’’ and I do empathize with such people, their families and laid off employees.

Apart from being quick and easy read (you can read it in 2 hours) here are

Top 5 reasons why you might want to read this book:

1. It gives you 10 tips per minute about how to do the right things right now. You’ll find practical steps you can execute immediately, plus examples and case studies, illustrating how leaders at DuPont, Hanesbrands, Wipro, and other companies used Charan's techniques to get results.

2. You'll find practical techniques that will help you cope with: collapsing markets, shrinking budgets, credit crunch, vanishing suppliers, nervous stakeholders, damaged employees morale, all under the assumption that the economy will not recover in the short run, but rather what you will need to be effective over the next two to three years.

3. It includes six essential leadership traits for hard times:

· Honesty and Credibility

· The ability to inspire

· Real-time connection with reality

· Realism tempered with optimism

· Managing with intensity

· Boldness in building for the future

There you have it - it’s action and attitude. I enjoy hearing this from a world-class empiricist and pragmatist, one of the world’s most sought-after consultants who helps executives to understand what works, what doesn't, and why.

4. Business owners report they saved money on expensive consultants and achieved results reading and implementing strategies and tips from this book.

5. You can boost your credibility in the organization even if you are not C-level executive.

Top 3 reasons why you might want your people to read this book:

1. Shows management teams where to focus and provides advice to leaders at every level, from the CEO, CFO & country managers to department heads in finance, marketing, R & D, logistics, sales and manufacturing.

2. It includes critical considerations and check-lists for each of the company's key leadership groups.

3. Gives all staff and supporting functions real grip on some unfamiliar areas of corporate life. It can serve as preparatory reading for senior management and leadership development programs.

And if you are a CEO, your people might understand you better. We are all looking for your strength and guidance.

I welcome your comments, opinions and feedback on what is happening and how you are dealing with all challenges, wherever in organization you might be. Your input might be saving jobs. And that’s a pretty noble cause.

Thank you for all you are doing,


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