So what should you do if youâ€™re an executive who has avoided the recent maelstrom and still receive a paycheck at a viable albeit leaner company? Or what if youâ€™re a CEO of an enterprise thatâ€™s in search of the magic bullet to grow revenues, boost market share, and snare lucrative contracts? My advice is simple: fire yourself.
Iâ€™m not sharing with you the punch line to a bad joke. Instead, Iâ€™m offering you a powerful strategy that can help you reinventâ€”and reinvigorateâ€”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. Survivorâ€™s guilt, lethargy, and outmoded thinking will not enable you to survive in todayâ€™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 didnâ€™t correct course. He advised Jung to â€śfireâ€ť herself over the weekend and â€śrehireâ€ť herself as the companyâ€™s new turnaround artist. The move allowed her to make hard choicesâ€”cutting 30% of her staff, changing her marketing strategy, and revising poor investment decisions. Within two years, Jung had produced Avonâ€™s best financial performance in decadesâ€”without compromising the companyâ€™s core values.
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