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Posts Tagged ‘Pressure’

Another Slow Death Story

I’m starting to feel like the old Jay Leno skit. You know the one called “Jay Walking.” Here’s another CEO’s story about being very stuck with no game plan for addressing growth. All I did was listen.

“The Great Recession has made me very cautious about ramping things back up. At times during it I felt like our survival was in serious question and I am being extremely cautious about ramping up headcount and we are watching our spending like crazy. More than ever I want to make sure we have some cushion in our balance sheet in case we hit another bump—I don’t EVER want to go through what we just survived again!

One thing I am really noticing is the changes we are seeing in the workforce. The younger talent we have hired and need to keep our business relevant are sure demanding and impatient. I like the energy and enthusiasm but it feels like they are playing by a different set of rules; they no don’t settle for “we’re doing it this way because I say so.” While we have had a lean/six sigma program going for a couple of years now, honestly, it has not delivered on its promises specifically with regards to the savings I had believed it would bring us. It seems to keep going only because there are a handful of people who won’t let it die, but it has not built the groundswell of improvement I had hoped it would. I really don’t understand what I need to do to make it better. It feels like another failed attempt dying a slow death.”

Are you finding leaders who don’t know what to do next? What are they saying about the future?


One Very Frustrated CEO!

Recently I had the opportunity to chat with a CEO friend of mine. He was very frustrated so I asked him to “just talk” and let me make notes. Here’s the highlights of what he said in his voice:

“It is increasingly difficult to keep up with the competitive demands of the markets we serve and I worry about it constantly. I feel pressure from my competitors, pressure from my customers, pressure from my shareholders and pressure from my employees. They all seem to have an insatiable appetite for my company to do better and it has me constantly on the lookout for solutions. I look for solutions constantly but move cautiously to bring in new programs (yes, we have a lean/six sigma initiative that has been running for a couple of years).

We have started experimenting with social media inside the company and it makes me nervous because any moves I make (anything I say or write about) subject to extreme scrutiny which makes me reluctant; I am confused about how I use this new stuff to strengthen my business. I remain hungry for better ways of doing things and some peace of mind that I am doing everything I can to run the business in a way that it will be successful. Right now I feel like I am at best treading water, and at times I am barely able to keep my head above water.”

What do you think? Ever been there?