Leadership Insights - May 2020
"Anxiety is the handmaiden of creativity."
The Sage and The Plague
If you're wondering what Warren Buffett, the "Sage of Omaha" has to say about the Corona Crisis and the stock market, look no further. Click here for a quick recap of the highlights. (Buffet's legendary Berkshire Hathaway lost over $50 Billion in the first quarter which underscores that both medically and financially that the virus is no respecter of persons.)
Like many other meetings, the company's annual meeting was held online (the entire 5 hours and 23 minutes). But if you want some shortcuts, skip the first 40 minutes which is mostly commentary by financial journalists and go to directly to Mr. Buffett's interesting comments which provide some badly needed perspective. After his comments, the Q&A Session starts at 2 hr: 45 sec into the presentation.
The Road Back (No. 1)
Running a going concern is one thing; resurrecting it is quite another. Many reading this are C-Level Executives who will soon be able to re-open their offices and plants. As a recent article in Chief Executive Magazine warns " For many CEOs, this will be the first time dealing with life-or-death human physical safety-and there are a whole lot of issues to consider."
The answers will be unique for every company but the questions to be asked and answered before welcoming your team back are similar. This list of great questions (many of which may not have occurred to you) will help you in "Managing the Big Risk of Bringing Your Employees Back to Work."
The Road (Back No. 2)
Crisis, Then Opportunity: President John F. Kennedy famously remarked that "The Chines use two brush strokes to write the word 'crisis'. One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity. IN a crisis, be aware of the danger, but recognize the opportunity. This may not seem helpful if you're still coping with the crisis. Even so, there will be opportunities that real C-Level Leaders can avail themselves such as acquiring competitors, A-Players, product lines and customers. Astute leaders understand that as the economy recovers these opportunities are perishable.
To help you start thinking about "winning" instead "of not losing", this article from Knowledge at Wharton offers a thoughtful and concise set of Ten Guidelines for Creating Opportunities in a Time of Crisis. This is a conversation that has to start with C-Level leaders.
It Could be Worse: Many are understandably anxious about the US Economy. However, if you have to be anywhere, the US is the place to be. ITR Economics' Alex Chausovsky offers a quick overview of Europe in particular and concludes it is "in worse shape that the US, from many angles." Be advised if you do significant business there.ify the overall percentage of assets you have tied directly to the business.