Get Ready for Tomorrow, Today
Category : 2020
If it be now, ’tis not to come. If it be not to come, it will be now. If it be not now, yet it will come—the readiness is all. (Hamlet – Act 5, Scene 2)
During an unexpected, unpredictable, and now extended global economic tsunami, many executives have invested so much energy in disaster preparedness they’ve lost sight of the importance of opportunity readiness. Since school districts tacked an extra week on Spring Break in March to accommodate what we thought was a public health blip, CEOsleading organizations of all sizes have rightly focused time, energy, and resources on helping their companies and those they lead navigate the uncertainty, relentless change, annoying distractions, and like-it-or-not demand for attention COVID-19 has unloaded on the world. As businesses adapt to current realities and craft new strategies for the present, it is time for senior leaders to focus some attention on their personal preparedness for what’s ahead.
Surveys reveal an alphabet soup view of what people think the months ahead will look like. Some CEOs anticipate a U-shaped recovery while others see an L or W-shaped journey ahead. Perhaps it is best to not look for a recovery at all, instead charting a path to readiness for the future without preconceptions that whatever is ahead will resemble what we knew before.
A seismic shift in the business environment will likely perpetuate a parallel adjustment in the top leadership in organizations as boards recognize the capabilities they looked for in the C-team pre-COVID 19 are not the skills required to succeed in the unprecedented market shifts we are experiencing and will face in the months ahead.
Surveys by major consulting firms underscore this anticipated talent transformation. Boston Consulting Group found “. . . more than 80% of surveyed CFOs also see transformative change—for example, in their organization, in digital, or in innovation—as a strategic opportunity. (Boston Consulting Group, CFO Pulse Check #2, https://www.bcg.com/en-us/publications/2020/covid-cfo-pulse-check-2). Boards now face the decision to rely on current leaders to drive needed transformation or to look outside the company for another skill set or someone with a different vision for the future.
If boards listen to voices beyond their circle, the likelihood they will consider new leadership is multiplied. McKinsey stated, “Our research has also shown that CEOs who are hired externally tend to move with more boldness and speed than those hired within an organization, (McKinsey, The CEO Moment: Leadership for a New Era (https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/leadership/the-ceo-moment-leadership-for-a-new-era). The demand for boldness and speed may drive a need to consider talent from another industry or situation.
Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger aptly noted, “The historic challenge for leaders is to manage the crisis while building the future.” As C-level leaders manage themselves for the future, it’s time to stop adjusting and begin anticipating. Forward-thinking executives will find a way to clearly articulate a differentiated message in a distinct voice and tone, that can be heard above the cacophony of uncertainty whirling around us.
Leapfrog Executive Services engages with C-level executives to help them prepare for the future while they drive results today. Recognizing that C-level leaders have unique career management expectations and limited available time, our turn-key executive branding package includes an executive resume, an engaging biography, and a market-focused LinkedIn profile.
Our approach to communicating an executive’s brand goes beyond a recitation of past successes. We help a leader articulate his/her resilience, agility, adaptability, ability to reimagine the future, skill in navigating through uncertainty, andability to balance expedience with ingenuity. We have completed executive branding programs for people leading as CEO, CFO, Chief Sales & Marketing officer, Head Data Scientist, CTO, VP Operations, and Chief Learning Officer, and others. Industries have included technology, consumer goods, manufacturing, and consulting.
Clients tell us they value the professionalism, personal service, and sense of urgency Leapfrog Executive Services provides. Executives we support approach conversations and new opportunities with a renewed confidence that comes from the ability to consistently tell their stories in an exemplary way across a variety of platforms. First century poet Ovid said the one “who is not prepared today will be less so tomorrow.” As you lead your organization through today’s challenges, invest some time in preparing for tomorrow’s opportunities.