MANAGING THE LEADERSHIP CHALLENGE IN A DOWNTURN. Address by LARRY ETTAH, Group Managing Director/CEO, UAC OF NIGERIA PLC to Senior Managers at the UACN 2010 Business Retreat. INTRODUCTION. You are all welcome.
Address by LARRY ETTAH, Group Managing Director/CEO, UAC OF NIGERIA PLC to Senior Managers at the UACN 2010 Business Retreat
1. Honesty and Credibility: No one can be certain about business environment and its direction. Your authority derives from your ability to facilitate understanding and solutions. Level with people, tell them how you see the world, acknowledge the limits of your understanding and ask them for their views.
2. The Ability to Inspire: People are anxious, jobs savings, trust are at risk. Hope is stretched! Inspire your team to inspire the rest of the organisation. Inspire team to focus on new priorities, making decisions for incremental successes.
3. Real-time Connection with Reality: In a downturn with pervasive uncertainty, reality is a moving target. Keep updating the picture, monitor change and impending change continuously. Put all concrete external info on the table no matter how bad, encourage all your people to do same, discuss it among yourselves.
4. Realism Tempered with Optimism: Unadulterated pessimism is no more realistic than unbridled optimism. Focus your people on a vision of what is possible, and energise them to search for the actions that will realise the vision. Bring touch of optimism that taps psychological reserves to deal with bad news and transform fear into action.
5. Managing with Intensity: Your hands on participation is essential in these times. Dig into the right details with much higher frequency than ever before only through such involvement can you acquire the needed ground level intelligence.
Rely less on memos and proclamations, share more and discuss with team so that can act with speed that is required in a volatile environment. Be interactive – listen, explain, answer questions.
6. Boldness in building for the future: Faced with necessity of cash conservation and survival resist the pressure to short-change the future. Place strategic bests yet on the future; no point limping to the finish line!