Tuesday, November 18, 2008

It Becomes Too Easy

"There can be no member of this team that takes us off the end of road and over the cliff. It is my job to continue to find the best and replace the rest. Our operation cannot be undermined by people who truly think they can do the job when we know otherwise. We must find them out."
- anonymous CEO

On goes the turmoil in the United States. Recession, market trouble and an endless stream of main stream media commenting on the doom and gloom.

I am of the opinion that the sheep, those that just follow along, are being led of a cliff and even exacerbating the situation by talking about it so much. I both blame the media and defend them. Of course they must report the news but the problem lies when they add opinion and drama to the news. The media becomes the pied piper and those who are too lazy to question their assessments adopt the problems as their own.

They begin by being led over the cliff's edge.

Soon, these problems become bigger than they might have been. In the financial crisis it means that the public acts in an odd and unpredictable manner. Taking cash out of the banking system to keep at home, selling stocks when they are at an all time low, storing food and water as if the end of the world was here. Bizarre and exacerbated by constantly "selling" the idea that tough times are ahead.

What is needed is strong leadership to help people begin to buck the trend. Leadership that will not tolerate "recessionary times" as an excuse because that is too easy. We need business leaders and political leaders alike to stand up and cut out the positions in their hierarchy that aren't doing the job. It takes tough decisions and hard choices to make things better but people will follow. They will walk to the cliff and jump over if the leader is the right one. The difference is the right leader won't take them to a cliff.

Economic hard times is too much of an excuse. We need to look in the mirror and decide what we actually believe and what we are willing to do about it.

Don't get lured to the cliff's edge without thinking about why. Because if you'll do it in hard times, you will for sure do it in good times...and that can have much worse consequences. Just ask the former house owners of the United States what the bottom of the ravine looks like.

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