Survival of the Fittest in a Tough Economy

Good leadership separates the strong from the expendable

Call it natural selection: a concept developed by 19th century scientist Charles Darwin that argues only animals able to adapt will survive. This has everything to do with business, too.

It’s easy to do well when everyone is thriving. But crisis shines light on great leaders and not-so-great leaders. We’ve seen it in the ailing financial sector. Bear Stearns, AIG, Countrywide, and banking institutions with poor management and leadership met a wretched demise when the going got tough. Repackaging loans as investment instruments may have, in part, caused this meltdown, but it was poor leadership that allowed it to happen.

In today’s economic climate, leadership will determine which companies not only weather to downturn, but emerge triumphant.

“A good leader leads from the front,” says Rob Roy, founder of SOT-G, a leading company for military consultants, trainers, and executive/force protection. “Employees want to see you.”

Roy hosted a panel at the 4th Annual Small Business Summit called “Business Survival: Learn from a Survival Expert.”

“Everybody is a great performer, but what are they doing for the company?” Roy says. “It’s not about what the individual does, it’s about what the group can do. ”

He stressed the importance of team building and teamwork in every part of an organization.  “It’s the guy washing the windows that’s going to turn your customers away,” he says, as he urging companies to reinforce company goals at all levels of an organization.

Here are a few tips about leadership I picked up at the summit:

Pay attention to trends. What are people talking about online, in blogs, and in daily conversations? How can you incorporate “the next big thing” into your business?

It’s not all doom and gloom. Contrary to the daily new reports, it’s not all bad. Innovation is imperative, not just in terms of products, but also in terms of efficiency. IBM’s personal computer, a top-selling PC for many years, was created during an economic slowdown.

Engage! Engage! Engage! Gone are the days of talking at customers. Companies that a successful now, and that will continue to be success, talk to their customers. This is where social media can come in handy.

Be fearless. Sure, you may not be the most tech-savvy leader, but a good leader is not afraid to seek help from someone who is. It may be an entry-level worker or even the janitor. You may not know who in your company holds invaluable information. Seek them out and listen.

Entrepreneurs, chime in. How have you bolstered your leadership skills? What are you doing to make sure your company gets through the turmoil?

Renita Burns is the editorial assistant at BlackEnterprise.com.

ACROSS THE WEB
  • http://businessloansmall.org/ thypemef

    “But I considered credit history has no effect on getting a tiny company mortgage.”

    Often, small enterprise owners will say that they considered credit has no impact on getting a modest enterprise mortgage loan. While credit rating has minimal impact in
    acquiring funding from a service provider cash advance business, it even now does perform some part; nevertheless, it is far less strict than standard financial institution bank loan plans. An underwriter checks to see if the merchant has any key personal debt that he owes, and if he does, is he on some sort of payment program? Many instances these are troubles that the underwriter and the small organization proprietor are able to get close to – and in rarer cases, the lender will have to pass up on the merchant’s business.

    This variety of modest enterprise mortgage is very risky on the lender’s behalf. Creditors are dealing with eating places, retail enterprises, and car repair facilities which have a high charge of defaulting to begin with. Coupled with very poor credit rating, it is shocking, that there are tiny businesses which lenders are still in a position to small business loans dollars to.

    Before asking your loan provider this question, ask by yourself this: If I have been a financial institution, would I lend to my organization?

  • http://techngcentral.com/ tooxyton

    Visit our site, TechNGCentral (http://www.techngcentral.com). We have been providing gaming and hardware news, reviews, technology news, and interviews since 2002. Thanks for looking!