Leading Through Uncertainty (Part IX – The Future) – Weekend Reflections for Leaders: May 25, 2019

Today’s topic (the final part in the Leading Through Uncertainty series) is on the Future.

The marketplace will continue to grow more intense, complex, and uncertain for large and small businesses alike. As builders of businesses, senior executives and the top talent on their teams will continue to be challenged with leading through the uncertainty of today’s fast-paced marketplace.

The reality for anyone building a business or pursuing a career who thinks it will be smooth sailing for 20 or 30 years is pure fantasy. It was probably the dream of parents and grandparents that a Post WWII economy would enable a long and steady career with one great company, but this is not the reality that today’s business leaders face.

However, despite the ongoing disruption, the future presents a world of opportunity that was not available to generations in the past. The world has truly become flat as outlined by Thomas Freidman in his book, The World is Flat.

  • Entrepreneurs around the world can start a business to address any market segment with a simple website, secure crowd-source funding overnight, and begin the next wave of disruption while others are still debating the color and font of the next internal corporate slide deck.
  • Large corporations have more efficient access to ideas around the world than ever before. Through corporate venture arms, they can have a seat at the table of the next wave of innovation to help address the risk of insolvency that we have seen over the last several decades when large corporations have lost their ability to address a changing marketplace.

Businesses, both large and small, are strong enablers to ensure a peaceful and productive coexistence of different beliefs, cultures, and ways of life around the world. Success in the world of business is a critical element to supporting the life we all want for our families and communities. A vibrant global marketplace is an effective antidote to generational poverty, ignorance, and hate that can plague all nations of the world. When businesses are interdependent in a thriving global marketplace, we unleash the best in all of us to create a legacy most cherished by the vast majority of people in the world.

How do we not just survive but thrive in this environment?

  1. Innovation is the only safety net as our current business is just a computer algorithm away from extinction.
  2. Leadership is the differentiator to support growth in a challenging marketplace. Regardless of the uncertainty the future may bring, we as leaders still need to lead and motivate our teams to deliver on near term goals and prepare for the future.

Today’s senior executives and top talent shoulder the responsibility of leading a company forward into a world of uncertainty. The risk of inaction is a quick path to insolvency. However, leaders who effectively leverage the principles outlined in this series of writings will, more times than not, lead their teams to a bright and limitless future.

What if I were to ask you, “What is the most difficult leadership challenge you are facing today?” What would you say? 

Here are a few resources to HELP YOU:

  1. Download FREE resources, including the 4 A’s of Leadership, at www.harvesttimepartners.com
  2. Contact me. Email: david@harvesttimepartners.com (M) 269-370-9275
  3. Check out my latest book, Looking Back-What I Learned When I Left a Great Company, for helpful insights on leadership, building a great business, and winning the war on top talent.

Below are previous topics in the series Leading Through Uncertainty. I had the privilege in March to speak to a group of executives in San Francisco on this topic and I wanted to share components of my talk during this series.

Part I (Reality Check) Part II (Purpose) Part III (Guiding Principles) Part IV (Operating System) Part V (Points of View) Part VI (Stakeholders) Part VII (Communication) Part VIII (Resilience)

David Esposito