05
Jan
09

What’s tolerable in good times is intolerable in bad

As we begin 2009, there are some new absolutes being thrown into the mix. First, 2009 is going be an economic rollercoaster ride as the realities of the recession settle in. Surely the retail sector is going to take it on the chin with a parade of bankruptcies and closings. Manufacturing will need to reinvent itself to take efficiency and corporate responsibility to an entirely new level. Likewise, the service sector will need to adjust to a much more conservative, value conscious and cautious consumer. Simply put, 2009 is going to be the year of not only fixing what’s wrong in business, but evolving quickly into significantly more disciplined no-compromise entities. And here’s the catch – doing so is not an option.
Success in 2009 and beyond is for those that can change and adapt. Hang on to “business as usual” thinking and behaviors and the odds are against you. It’s true the “good times” are behind us. But it’s also true that very good times lay ahead. In fact, for those riding the crest of change and reinvention, the good times are that much closer.
Here’s your first mission in 2009: Get real about what you’ve been dragging along … and get rid of it. There is no other way to explain it other than, “What’s tolerable in good times is intolerable in bad.” Here’s a quick no-compromise hit list:
* Employees: Every business seems to accumulate its share of employees that consistently fall below the line of acceptable performance and behavior. These employees may have been tolerable in good times, but you’ll never make it to the good times dragging them along. Make the no-compromise personnel decisions now.
* Spending: Good times can cause compromising spending behaviors. Benefits, bonuses, generous pay raises, equipment, programs, assistants, and all the other stuff that was tolerable in good times is now intolerable in bad. Make the no-compromise spending cuts now. In fact, use a meat cleaver to trim every bit of fat.
* Accountability: This encompasses every quality standard, policy, system, job responsibility, client need, problem solution – every darn thing that has “get it done – get it done right” attached to it. All those behaviors that you were tolerating in good times are nothing more than the drag of compromise. If you want to make it to the other side of this recession and the good times that await you, become the no-compromise leader your business needs now more than ever. Everything is riding on your decision to engage at the no-compromise level.
Rest assured, in 2009 your competition is going to thin out. They’ll pay the price for continuing to tolerate the intolerable. By taking decisive action now, you’ll ensure that you’re not one of them.
Pass this email on to your business colleagues, managers and friends.
Neil Ducoff, Strategies founder & CEO

ball&chainAs we begin 2009, there are some new absolutes being thrown into the mix. First, 2009 is going be an economic rollercoaster ride as the realities of the recession settle in. Surely the retail sector is going to take it on the chin with a parade of bankruptcies and closings. Manufacturing will need to reinvent itself to take efficiency and corporate responsibility to an entirely new level. Likewise, the service sector will need to adjust to a much more conservative, value conscious and cautious consumer. Simply put, 2009 is going to be the year of not only fixing what’s wrong in business, but evolving quickly into significantly more disciplined no-compromise entities. And here’s the catch – doing so is not an option.

Success in 2009 and beyond is for those that can change and adapt. Hang on to “business as usual” thinking and behaviors and the odds are against you. It’s true the “good times” are behind us. But it’s also true that very good times lay ahead. In fact, for those riding the crest of change and reinvention, the good times are that much closer.

Here’s your first mission in 2009: Get real about what you’ve been dragging along … and get rid of it. There is no other way to explain it other than, “What’s tolerable in good times is intolerable in bad.” Here’s a quick no-compromise hit list:

  • Employees: Every business seems to accumulate its share of employees that consistently fall below the line of acceptable performance and behavior. These employees may have been tolerable in good times, but you’ll never make it to the good times dragging them along. Make the no-compromise personnel decisions now.
  • Spending: Good times can cause compromising spending behaviors. Benefits, bonuses, generous pay raises, equipment, programs, assistants, and all the other stuff that was tolerable in good times is now intolerable in bad. Make the no-compromise spending cuts now. In fact, use a meat cleaver to trim every bit of fat.
  • Accountability: This encompasses every quality standard, policy, system, job responsibility, client need, problem solution – every darn thing that has “get it done – get it done right” attached to it. All those behaviors that you were tolerating in good times are nothing more than the drag of compromise. If you want to make it to the other side of this recession and the good times that await you, become the no-compromise leader your business needs now more than ever. Everything is riding on your decision to engage at the no-compromise level.

Rest assured, in 2009 your competition is going to thin out. They’ll pay the price for continuing to tolerate the intolerable. By taking decisive action now, you’ll ensure that you’re not one of them.

Pass this email on to your business colleagues, managers and friends.

Neil Ducoff, Strategies founder & CEO and author of No-Compromise Leadership

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