Soundview Executive Book Summaries

Leading Through Hard Times
March 9, 2009, 1:41 PM
Filed under: Innovation, Leadership, Personal Development | Tags: , , ,

There are some days when I think we all want to avoid reading the newspaper or glancing at CNN on the TV during breakfast. We keep saying, “How bad is this recession going to get? It can’t get any worse, right?” And then it does. This is a scary time, but we have to remember that it is not the first recession this country has seen.


While trying to track down an article I had spied about different sectors and how “recession-proof” they are, I came across an interview of Ram Charan, conducted by by Christina Bielaszka-DuVernay—a editor.


I suggest taking a look at what Charan has to say about what leaders need to focus on right now during the recession (it’s the first question tackled in the interview). But I think his answer to Bielaska-DuVernay’s final question, “What will the best companies do during this recession?” is even more important for leaders to consider. Charan answers, “They’ll get ahead the curve and conserve their cash. They’ll take out frills and focus on the core. And then they’ll think of how the market will have changed in two or three years and what innovation they will need to have done to compete successfully, and they’ll do that innovation now.”


Also notable is that Charan, the ever-prolific writer, published Leadership in the Era of Economic Uncertainty: The New Rules for Getting the Right Things Done in Difficult Times with McGraw-Hill in late December 2008.


One reviewer on, identified as M. McDonald, hits the nail right on the head with the comment that Leadership in the Era of Economic Uncertainty is “a playbook for senior executives to get back to the basics in these tough economic times. Charan is the first author to take a serious look at what running a company will be like under the assumption that the economy will not recover in the short run, but rather what you will need to be effective over the next two to three years.”


But if that’s not enough, consider Soundview’s Personal Survival Skills Collection. Definitely something worth considering if you want to make yourself more valuable to your company.


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