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Five ways to win in this recession

1717145_thumbnail Are you sick of this recession?

Answer: A resounding YES!

While we all agree on this, the next question is: So what do we do about it?

I thought author and UVA Darden Professor Jeanne Liedtka has some answers in her post at the Washington Post's On Leadership blog as she writes about the recent earnings releases from Goldman Sachs.

Liedtka writes, "... that much of the advice we are getting about surviving today's economic meltdown was wrong. Advice like 'hunker down, cut costs, batten down the hatches, play it safe and wait for the economy to turn around' encourages managers to take a pass on the tremendous opportunity that today's uncertainty holds.

"Some managers, like those at Goldman, will come through these tough times ahead of the pack. And it won't be the ones waiting for a recovery to start somewhere 'out there.' The winners will figure out how to gain market share and new business while the wait-and-hope managers wring their hands. They'll do this by taking advantage of the present uncertainty, rather than hiding from it."

Here are the lessons that Liedtka says we can all learn from today's top leaders:

  1. Stop looking up and look in. Get started and examine your organization for questions and answers.
  2. Get real. Like the Eagles song, "Don't just sit there taking up space, go out and do something." Jeanne advises us to stop the hand-wringing, take some action and make things happen.
  3. Lose your B players. Talent and performance matters now more than ever. Is your best varsity team on the field?
  4. Make uncertainty an ally instead of an enemy. Don't let the uncertainty freeze you. Instead, adopt an adaptive mindset and begin taking calculated risks and look for high-leverage opportunities.
  5. Keep learning (this is mine). Turn negative energy into positive solutions. You won't get everything right every time, but if you learn fast, you will recover and move forward.

What is your recession strategy?