Proving Your Worth as a Manager

Of Storms and Alligators

storm1 I have a close friend who is the Executive Director of a small, service-based company that is taking a beating from the current economic downturn. Sales are down. Costs are up. And the well of funding has dried. Even though my friend is effectively knee-deep in alligators I have the utmost confidence in his ability to weather the storm. Unfortunately, my friend is not alone. In fact, even big businesses are struggling to survive. Look at the US auto industry. Granted, their lack of cash flow is due to more than just effects of the economy. But I think it’s safe to say that businesses throughout the world are in trouble.

Earning Your Stripes

Now is the time when a manager earns his stripes. Any manager can ride the tide of prosperity and lead his business during seasons of plenty. But the mark of a truly able manager is defined by how he overcomes the unexpected and weathers the storm. Managing crises is the most defining aptitude an entrepreneur can develop because the very nature of entrepreneurship is inherently ambiguous. In the case of my friend, it is too early to predict the future as there are too many variables that affect his business; a corporate failure would likely be attributed to much more than the economy. But if he is looking for an opportunity to prove himself, now is the time.

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