In episode 49 of the CXO Minute, Tony Uphoff advises on how to lead during uncertain times. He emphasizes that times of uncertainty should be used as a call to action, rather than an excuse for inaction.
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00:37 — For business leaders today, there are many conflicting signals. Is the economy growing or shrinking? Is inflation still an issue? Is unemployment on the rise? Will we see a return to working in the office or is hybrid and remote work the structure of the future?
01:14 — Tony, who has been in business leadership positions for over 25 years, has had a “ringside seat” for every major technology disruption and the opportunity to see extraordinary business leaders in action. He says what separates these remarkable leaders from their peers comes down to one thing: the ability to lead through uncertain times, which can be one of the most difficult things for leaders to do.
02:05 — Based on Tony’s ongoing study of leadership and his own experience, there are three core things that business leaders do during uncertain times:
- Rediscover your relevancy
- Reassess your resource allocation
- Meet with customers
02:32 — As businesses grow and evolve, it is easy to lose sight of the core value proposition. This is why it is crucial for organizations to rediscover their relevancy.
03:05 — “At the end of the day, business strategy is simply an exercise of resource allocation,” suggests Tony. Now is the time to think deeply about resources and whether they are deployed in the areas that will yield the best return. Organizations may realize that they have over-committed resources and need to cut back.
04:30 — History teaches us that companies that double down on listening to and engaging with customers during uncertain times prosper in the long run. Tony says this can’t simply be a rallying cry either. Business leaders and CEOs must lead by example.
05:32 — The formula outlined above represents a proven framework for leading through uncertain times, though there are certainly others that can be applied. The key is to use this time of uncertainty as a call to action, not as an excuse for inaction.
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