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Now is the time for No-Compromise Leadership
October 6, 2008 | By Neil Ducoff | No Comments
We are all getting a real-time and sobering lesson in compromise. The economic events of this past week on Wall Street and Washington DC have been fed by compromise at every step. In what seems like a heartbeat, the economy went from sluggish to serious talk of recession. The question we’ve been asking, “Can it get any worse?” now has an answer, “Yes it can.” Compromise in Washington and Wall Street has driven America to the lowest point I have ever witnessed in my lifetime.
As entrepreneurs, we risk it all for our businesses. And when we make bad decisions and compromise, we know that the government will not step in and write an insanely massive check to bail us out. Simply put, we pay a price to play the business game. When we win, there’s no better feeling of personal pride and accomplishment. When we lose, it hurts in every conceivable way imaginable.
It is in economic times like these that our entrepreneurial grit is put to the test. From all indications, this economic mess will get worse before it gets better. And if it hasn’t already, it is going to impact your business. The question is, will the no-compromise leader in you rise to the challenge? The best mindset is to prepare for what is shaping up to be an extended period of economic uncertainty.
No-compromise leadership means doing what needs to be done. No excuses. No procrastination. To get you going, here are some do-it-now no-compromise strategies:
- Forget “Salons are recession proof” thinking: These are different and extremely complex times. That old “recession proof” thinking enables inaction. It creates a mindset that nothing needs to change. Today, salons are NOT recession proof. Many can already attest to that.
- Turn your systems on: This simply means, everyone on your team plays according to the rules. Our coaching clients that are reporting growing or steady sales and profits are the ones that have a no-compromise culture where everyone is accountable. From up-selling on the phones and adhering to service procedures, to consultations, recommendations and pre-booking, they execute their systems.
- Lift or drag: Do you have employees on your team that live by their own rules? That’s compromise. Absenteeism, lateness, missing huddles, avoiding retail recommendations, not pre-booking, no teamwork, always an excuse… you get the picture. If an employee is not creating lift, he or she is creating drag. The no-compromise leader doesn’t tolerate drag of any kind.
- Information flow: In times like these, information flow throughout the business is crucial. The no-compromise leader is a communicator. Huddles, scoreboards, one-on-ones, constant cheerleading – that’s how to maintain urgency, consistency and focus.
- Cash-flow planning: I know I beat this topic to death. I do so because too many entrepreneurs don’t pay attention to their financial reports. Even more fail to create and live a cash-flow plan. Today, and most certainly in the months ahead, there is no margin for error when it comes to cash flow. Most certainly, there is no bailout waiting for you should you run out of cash. The no-compromise leader is engaged in cash-flow planning.
You need to go no compromise. America needs to go no compromise. No doubt we are in uncertain and fearful economic times. It’s time for no-compromise leadership. Heck, I wrote the book on it and I need to adhere to no-compromise thinking and behavior, too. Let’s weather this storm by doing what needs to be done. Like all storms, there is sunshine and blue skies on the other side.
Pass this email on to your business colleagues, managers and friends.
Neil Ducoff, Strategies founder & CEO and author of No-Compromise Leadership
Categories: Monday Morning Wake-Up