I have been thinking this week about what adventures and challenges we may be facing in the next decade. I’m curious how many of us are focusing to rebuild or shifting our lives in 2010? I’m sure we all want change in our lives as leaders (or we probably would not be good leaders if we didn’t evolve). The question I must ask, “how much time are we taking in 2010 to personally lead change in our own lives?” As a leader, you quickly learn what you can or cannot control! One thing we do have control over and that is our lives and how we are faced with change, adversaries, conflict, and crisis. Two questions to ponder: 1) what are we doing for ourselves and those around us that may be in a crisis as we close out this decade? 2) how may we position ourselves to grow as leaders in the next decade?
Yes, I do agree that reviewing the past can be painful and emotional. However, we do not have to allow the past to predict the future. We learned from our mistakes with the Great Depression during the 30’s, I hope our country and our business markets will learn from the mistakes made from the Great Recession here at the beginning of the 21st Century. I have created a top 10 crisis events in this decade that I feel contributed to the Great Recession. The top ten are not from a financial stand point like many want to believe. I think its time to evaluate the leadership decisions made during this decade so in 2010 we may personally reassess our lives and the lives around us for a successful new decade.
10) WTC 9/11 – be prepared for anything. Realize that there are those that will oppose you no matter what and will take great lengths to prove this.
9) Enron – really, is it possible to evaluate a sinking ship before it happens? What happen to trust and accountability being woven in as a manager and leader?
8) Oil Pricing – did we ever stop and think about the empire who is truly ruling the world? We may think we are in control, but have we truly assessed who is really in charge?
7) Lehman Brothers – realize that even the strongest industries are not “fool proof”. Do you have a working relationship with your weak points?
6) Housing Industry Boom/Bust – just an ordinarily cycle of life, or is it? When does the measurement of risk calculation hit the danger zone? What does this say of us as a country that bought in to the marketing programs around the risky lending?
5) AIG Bailouts – insurance, odd that even things we pay to protect us are not “fool proof”. Will consumers ever be able to take out an insurance policy for mistakes leaders make who oversee consumer’s purchases or investments? It may be cheaper than the risks associated with some recent decision making.
4) Bank Bailouts – truly, did someone really do their homework for the risks associated with these lending practices vs. the human psychology of shopping? It’s amazing the psychological release that comes about from shopping. Just ask a few friends of mine! Banks truly knew how to play on consumer addiction (and most fell for it).
3) Commodity Overgrowth – people, have you ever heard of market saturation? Somewhere the pendulum is going to swing the other way and swing hard. Will we as consumers ever have enough “stuff”? Probably not.
2) Auto Industry Bailouts – has anyone taken a real inventory of this empire? Change is hard, these guys have found this out the hard way.
1) Ever growing bankruptcies – we have realized though, business will never be the same again. In 2005, Feds revised the Bankruptcy code to reduce the number of filings. Today, we are right back to those numbers again with sky rocketing unemployment rates. It is hard to affirm that gut feeling that it is going to take several years, maybe even a decade, for business to return to anything close to normal.
One common theme, be thankful for those that may bail you out, but it does come with a cost. It will be a cost of leadership respect, a cost of ownership, a cost of productivity, and a cost to others. I think everyone has felt the impact of this decade in one way or another. Lives have been taken, homes have been lost, careers have been shattered, and hearts have been broken. As we think about our focus points (or goals) for 2010, how has the past decade impacted your decisions regarding 2010 and beyond?
Here are some key things that I have observed from the community around me, online and in person:
- We have finally learned there are limits to just how far the cash dollar will be stretched.
- Realized there is a shifting job market and a few skill sets will no longer be valid in this new century. What was capitalized in the past will now be just a part of ordinary life (aka, technology).
- If knowledge is truly power, how do you manage, market, and package this is a neat little box?
- We have truly found our vulnerability spots in our economy and political system.
- Working hard, working smarter – apparently isn’t enough to make our lives fulfilling; humans need a purpose, a reason for existence.
- Balance, what balance?
As we wind down 2009 and begin to make plans for 2010, let’s take a moment and not forget the lessons learned. Reflect on what you value in life, ensure your plans in 2010 support that!
Have a wonderful holiday season!!!!
Blogging for Let’s Talk Leadership will be taking a holiday leave and not post the week of December 27th. Blogging will begin again on January 4th. Have a safe Holiday Season!!