Daily Leadership Thought #179 – Create Your Own Destiny

July 22, 2011

THE DESTINY | The Palantir

You can control your own destiny!

It’s never a good idea to wait until external events spur you to action.  If you wait until the signs to act are obvious it may already be too late.  Far too many leaders play catch-up with their business or organization, especially these days.  It’s almost as if people are afraid to act given the perceived economic uncertainty of our country and the world.  However, this is the very time you need to take initiative and solidify your future otherwise you end up becoming a victim of circumstance and succumbing to the same reality everyone else is worried about (and not really addressing).

When everyone else is selling it is a good time to buy.  When other companies are laying off talent find creative ways to hire them.  If your peers are cutting their business development budget then you should invest more.  Look for opportunities to acquire competitors who are struggling but have still have some value left in their business.  Enter new markets and introduce new products.  Ramp up your online presence.  All of this may sound counter-intuitive but it’s true.  This doesn’t mean you have license to make bad financial decisions but it does mean that you still need to take risks to be successful in business.  Don’t ever act like everyone else!

If your own financial situation is in dire straits then take aggressive action to get out of it and become cash flow positive so you can do take the above listed initiatives.  Don’t try and do it incrementally but instead get there as soon as possible.  Implement strategies that will allow you to maximize your ability to flex your variable expenses as needed.  Rethink your labor model and get creative with employee relationship strategies.  Minimize overhead but invest in your sales capacity.  Make it a priority to be operating from a position of relative financial strength ASAP.  Don’t just hunker down and wait for the market to recover.  It may end up being too late…

Courage still matters in business and in life.  Many of us avoid the difficult decisions or talk ourselves out of taking risks.  We strive for comfort where only pain and discomfort exists.  It’s better to bet on yourself and your business and accept the consequences then to live in someone else’s shadow or become another fish in the pond of mediocrity.  It’s always preferable to be ahead of rather than behind the market curve.  Stop worrying so much about survival and build your own conditions for success.  Create your own destiny!