Leadership Insights - May 2022
"The difficulty lies not so much in developing
new ideas as in escaping from old ones.
Ideas shape the course of history."
John Maynard Keynes
Economist and Author of
“The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money”
Inflation: Laughs and Strategies
To make the best of bad situations, it often helps to consider if there is an opportunity somewhere amid the threats, and if possible, look for the humor in the situation.
Let’s start with the humor: Boomers will remember the early SNL’s Dan Akroyd’s impersonations of President Jimmy Carter who struggled to cope with both energy shortages and significant inflation in the mid-1970s. Take a few minutes for a few laughs on coping with rising prices in Akroyd’s SNL skits “Inflation is Our Friend” and a “fire side chat” on inflation.
A few laughs can help get the creative juices flowing. Now, how about some serious and creative talk on how to make money from inflation? Vistage Speaker Marc Emmer offers some strategies in a recent Inc Magazine article that explains “Why Inflation Can be an Opportunity” and how to profit from the problem.
Gone for now, or Gone for Good?
To win the War for Talent, we need to understand the dynamics of the post-Covid work force. Perhaps the greatest adjustment for executives is the emergence of a seller’s market for talent; a sea change from the buyer’s market that has characterized most the current generations’ careers.
If it’s a seller’s market, then the buyers (us) will have to start selling. A short article from McKinsey observes that “Nearly half of the employees who voluntarily left the workforce during the pandemic aren’t coming back on their own. Employers must go and get them. Here’s how to start.”
The article explores why employees are leaving (it’s not just money) , why some are returning and how to keep them. Spend a few minutes with this blog post “Gone for now, or gone for good? How to play the new talent game and win back workers.”
A Feedback Primer
While your employees may have many alternatives to your company, that doesn’t change the fact that they (and all of us) need effective and consistent feedback. Being able to give that feedback so as to not drive talent away is baseline; doing so in a way that increases their desire to stay is an artform, but one that we all perform with a little knowledge and effort.
This primer on feedback from the Farnum Street Blog is a great intro, refresher and checklist to improve a core competency every executive must have. Are you doing it right?
A Zelensky Leadership Sampler (Repeat Because It's Worth It)
It may well be that Vladimir Putin’s biggest mistake in invading Ukraine was underestimating its president Volodymry Zelensky. How someone like Putin with supposed advantages of experience, expertise and resources could be bested by a former comedian decades younger will occupy leaders and leadership researchers for years.
Here are two podcasts what may give you some insights into this remarkable man:
What Can Leaders Learn from Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky? From Knowledge at Wharton (11 min podcast and transcript)
Leadership Lessons from Zelensky and Putin. Author Adam Grant and former US Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul look at lessons from this crisis.
No Recession Here: Last week, Dr. Alan Beaulieu of ITR Economics advised “Don’t Let Anyone Talk You Into A Recession,” suggesting instead that a soft landing was more likely. This week, brother Brian Beaulieu follows up with a podcast (and transcript) on how to maximize profits when the economy slows down (i.e. still growing, just slower). Check out “No Signs of a Recession.”
A Slow Q1: Dr. Brian Wesbury looks at the major sectors and sees “Slower Growth in Q1” (but no recession).
A Message From Scott:
I hope you've enjoyed these articles. My next edition of Leadership Insights will be in August as I'm spending June and July on a bicycle trip across the U.S. in support of The Fuller Center for Housing. This worthy cause provides decent housing for families in need both in the U.S. and internationally.
If you would like to learn more about why I'm doing this and potentially partner with me in serving these families, please visit my fundraising web page.