So what should you do if you’re an executive who has avoided the recent maelstrom and still receive a paycheck at a viable albeit leaner company? Or what if you’re a CEO of an enterprise that’s in search of the magic bullet to grow revenues, boost market share, and snare lucrative contracts? My advice is simple: fire yourself.
I’m not sharing with you the punch line to a bad joke. Instead, I’m offering you a powerful strategy that can help you reinvent—and reinvigorate—your career or company. As an executive or an entrepreneur, you operate a business that is under siege from an unmerciful economy and predatory competitors. Survivor’s guilt, lethargy, and outmoded thinking will not enable you to survive in today’s business environment. Innovation and execution will.
I embraced the concept of self-termination when I read a blog by Avon CEO Andrea Jung. A few years back, she was on the firing line after missing revenue and profit targets for two consecutive quarters. A board member told her that she was going to be dismissed in a few months if she didn’t correct course. He advised Jung to “fire” herself over the weekend and “rehire” herself as the company’s new turnaround artist. The move allowed her to make hard choices—cutting 30% of her staff, changing her marketing strategy, and revising poor investment decisions. Within two years, Jung had produced Avon’s best financial performance in decades—without compromising the company’s core values.
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