What we can learn from Turnaround CEOs
“Reading your book one chapter a week with my executive team has literally had a 9-figure impact to our bottom line, in just one quarter and we’ve added over 100 jobs to our team. This has been the best exercise I’ve been involved in with any management team in my entire career.”
– Tim Murphy, Pres., of Nortrax $17b division of John Deere
“Mark’s strategies show how even businesses in the most dire of times still have a set of responsibilities, a path, and processes, that they can follow that will optimize their chance of turnaround and long-term success. These are wise concepts from which most any business would benefit.”
– Dr. Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
“A practical and inspiring resource loaded with new and highly effective tools for developing a culture of innovation, purpose, and success. You’ll be amazed at the results!”
—Dr. Marshall Goldsmith, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Triggers
Your Team & Customers Are Feeling Grief
& Need Compassion & Action
Can you recall a time when you or someone close to you was stricken with a level of fear so intense, that there was a thought of, “how convenient it would be to just die”? Obviously, you didn’t follow through, life is worth living, leaders always find a way. Fear focuses.
At any point of time, and especially in times of turbulence, there are people, customers, prospects, employees, vendors and friends, that are at a level of concern and fear that you might not totally appreciate. In any time of turbulence, the fear of change and the loss of normalcy, at the very least causes grief. In times like these you need to be as compassionate as you are with friends who have lost a loved one. While the grief is not as intense, the loss of normalcy in economic turbulence causes a type of grief that can be like that with the death of a loved one.
I believe that the first decision you should make as a leader in a time of turbulence is to have compassion for the grief that others are feeling. From much experience I know first-hand, that those at an echelon like yours, and even Fortune 500 CEOs experience grief in these trying times. I’ve counseled dozens of high-level CEOs in turbulent times about the agonizing decisions they must make and implement. But there is a power you and they have that cannot be left on the table.
The power of reassuring words can do wonders, here is one real life example:
“You need to know that your jobs are secure, I am not going to lay you off in this turbulent time. I need you for the inevitable uptick, and in fact you and I are going to innovate like never before in this down time and we will hit the ground running when the inevitable comeback takes place as it ALWAYS does.”
Nearly those exact words were recently shared by several of my clients. They weren’t initially realizing how powerful they would be, but when they finally said them out loud and in person and/or in video to their team, the impact was palpable. There were tears. The quality of the virtual meetings and innovation sessions with which I was involved afterwards took a leap to a new dimension of performance.
I call it innovation Jujitsu, it is the momentum of some amount of fear, grief and/or external uncertainty being redirected toward a vision of hope and change. It creates an energy that can be aimed toward devouring problems, challenges, and opportunities with an intrepidness like nothing you’ve ever seen.
Are you going to waste this opportunity of turbulence or are you going to seize it?
In the worst of times you learn who your friends are. You know this, your clients know this. Now the question is, are you ready to leverage this momentum to help those whom you most love to serve?
Reaching people in this time of turbulence is actually easier than ever. Several of my clients executed calling blitzes and even my CEO clients have made literally hundreds of calls in just a couple of days. They have been shocked at the great response to the personal touch and the simplest of questions.
Forget about all these sappy emails going out, “In the wake of…we want you to know that you are in our thoughts…” CRAP! Pick up the phone, call your top 100 contacts and after finding out how they and their family are doing just ask a simple question:
“Is there anything I or we could do for you?”
Get a free copy of either of my books, Growth or Bust! or High Growth Levers both sold out on Amazon. Just send your email and one or more of the emails of the team mates.
Mark Faust works with CEOs and owners who have decided that healthy growth and innovation is what they want regardless of the economic environment. Since 1990, Mark has worked with over 300 companies and over fifty 3rd generation family owned businesses and helped them to grow and become much more profitable during the most turbulent of times. He is also a professional speaker, author and strategic growth coach to successful yet humble CEO’s. For a free copy of one of Mark’s books send an email to Mark@em1990.com
“These guiding principles are what grow great and enduring companies!”
—Dave Mawhinney, executive director, Carnegie Mellon Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship
“Management teams reading this book together couldn’t help but become more innovative and strategic.”
—Dr. Clark Gilbert, president of Brigham Young University–Idaho, board advisor to Harvard Business School’s Dr. Clay Christensen’s Innosight
“This book is filled with a ton of what to do in a very, very leveraged way.”
—Dr. Frank Wagner, cofounder of Stakeholder Centered Coaching
“The turnaround mindset is the key to sustainable growth for any company.”
—Ralph O’Dell, turnaround CEO
“One of the most pragmatic books on strategy, innovation, and culture I’ve read.”
—Dr. Jeffrey C. Bauer, dean and professor of management, University of Cincinnati–Clermont College