After reading Colvin’s book, Talent is Overrated, I became an instant fan of this author (I never read “How the Mighty Fall”). The talent issue resonated so much with me due to the work I do. When the publisher offered send a copy of The Upside of the Downturn without asking me to review it, I jumped at the chance to read it without strings attached, even though I knew it would be a different type of book than the one I’d read previously.
It’s worth noting that fellow blogger and online friend Wally Bock is quoted in this section, stating that during a time of layoffs, survivors “will certainly experience some grief. They may also still fear the loss of their own job.” As someone who went through several rounds of layoffs in a previous life, this is true, and a good reason to avoid layoffs if you can.
- Stand up and be seen. People want to be led. And in a crisis, they are looking for someone to ease fear. They want to know that someone is working on the problems.
- Be calm and in control. This helps to ease fear and keep everyone else calm and on track.
- Be decisive. Often, decisions that weren’t made when things were good can be made in a crisis because people understand better how important they are.
- Show fearlessness. Show others that you are not afraid. Several CEO’s have bought their company stock in this recession.
- Explain the crisis in a larger context. How people are affected by stress is related to how they see it. This helps people to respond in a more productive way.
Hmmm…..take the word “crisis” out of the elements in the list above, and you have a pretty good partial list of things a leader should be doing all the time.
Since this is not the last recession we’ll experience, read the book and keep it on your shelf for the next time around. If you are a seasoned leader looking for innovative and new strategies, you won’t find them here. Overall, I found this a good read with a sound (if not new) backbone of advice that can be used in good times, too.