In episode 58 of the Leadership Minute, Tony Uphoff explains why he’s ready to banish the phrase “do more with less,” especially in the context of leading through uncertain economic times, and offers advice on the right actions to take instead.
01:01 — Inspired by Scott Vaughan’s recent analysis “How Leaders Steer Through Uncertain Times with Strategic Bets, Top Talent, and Co-Creation,” Tony says he will join the cult to banish the old bromide of “do more with less,” but perhaps not for the reasons one might think.
01:56 — In difficult times, people look for leadership, not slogans. However, “tightening the belt,” “circling the wagons,” “slowing hiring,” and the aforementioned “do more with less” are all slogans he’s heard from company leaders recently.
02:12 — Here’s the problem: These statements don’t mean anything, and your employees and stakeholders know it. Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff was pilloried in the media and on Wall Street recently for trotting out some tired cliches and then blaming employee productivity while trying to explain away the company’s slowing growth. As Bob Evans chronicled in his report on “Marc Benioff 2.0,” when Benioff addressed the issues head-on and took appropriate action, the stock rebounded.
02:44 — Tony shares two critical tools for leading through challenging economic times. The first is clear and ongoing communication. Employees, shareholders, partners, and all of your stakeholders are too smart. They know when they’re being fed a cliche. You and your business will be rewarded by transparent, timely, and thoughtful communication, even if it’s difficult news, like a layoff.
03:10 — Number two: a framework for keeping your current business running while also investing in the future. This framework needs to have a system for measuring new projects and tracking milestones, assessing risk, and a risk mitigation plan.
03:25 — Without these methodologies, to quote another old cliche, your business will be like “the boats that simply rise and fall with the tide.”
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