The Way Forward

Bob Schultek
Author of
The Gauntlet

Managing disruptions is part of every leader’s resume. You evaluate the opportunities and risks of the situation. You work to stay ahead of fluid circumstances, while seeking to gain control by identifying alternative ways forward, choosing a direction, planning for it, and then communicating it. But very few leaders have faced an interruption as serious and significant as the current one, so it’s heartening to see how many, from businesses large and small, are rising to meet the challenge. They’re refining the crisis reaction norm cited above, and employing a proven model from our past to move forward. 

It’s the model that embraces opportunity over fear, leveraging the vision, initiative and ingenuity that have always been the trademarks for American industry. 

It’s the model that leverages the unequalled power of relationships, public and private, relying on shared mission and on collaboration to overcome obstacles and rapidly convert ideas into actions. 

It’s the model that appreciates how the successful conversion of these ideas depends completely on the willingness of the people in each company to invest their energy and talents in giving form and substance to their leader’s aspirations. It trusts that the purpose and culture which once attracted these people to build their business, paired with greater openness, transparency and encouragement from leadership, will again inspire them to fulfill a promise that delivers progress. 

As usual, there will be those who care only for themselves, whose profit motive has overwhelmed their purpose motive. Their cheating will be discovered and well documented, garnering headlines and stoking fear. But their actions will eventually be overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of the energy invested by those who have acted in accordance with their values to make a difference. 

At this time, when the value created by businesses is needed to lift us all, it’s the people in these entities, leaders and employees together, who are envisioning a way forward and acting to deliver it. 

How is your business executing this model?

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