Learn Lessons From This Recession

As a dim light begins to shine at the end of the tunnel in this recession, savvy business leaders are making their lists of lessons learned so their companies will be better prepared for future downturns.

Business Week magazine's June 29, 2009 issue featured an article called "Managing Through The Economic Storm" where various experts weighed in on how leaders should react to challenging economic times.

Their advice, and good lessons learned, include:

  • You have to build trust with your colleagues before a crisis comes or no one will follow you when it does.

  • There is no substitute for preparation. Access your company's strengths and weaknesses at all times.

  • Conduct an annual risk review that encompasses both financial and non-financial risks.

  • When removing employees from your business, be courageous, quick and fair.

  • Pay attention to those who leave and those who stay. And, for those who stay, remove work so the employees left behind don't feel punished for staying.

  • Talk more about values more than rules.

  • Reward not only the performance, but also how that performance is achieved.

Take time now to meet with your colleagues to develop your lessons learned list.


  1. Interesting. There are 7 lessons to be learned and 5 of them clearly deal with the leader's team. Teamwork is a critical factor to success both short term and over the long haul. It is often overlooked as a factor of success and is rarely a "lessons learned." It is, though, a reason for the long term success of any organization and a key to employee retention. We all want to be part of an engaged team where our contributions are recognized, valued, and rewarded. As a leader, you take care of your people and your people with take care of your customers and your business.


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