“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change.” -- attributed to Charles Darwin
Leading a business isn’t for sissies – not last year; not next year; not ever. But we have strategically put off “until next year” those decisions that were best delayed. We make some great business decisions and we make a few mistakes, but most fatal are the issues we know that we need to address, and we don’t.
We’re now sitting with a clean slate for the coming year and the opportunity to assure that we make this new year a successful one. The year’s first monumental decision may already be waiting on our desk. The longer we delay this decision (and others) the faster we’ll have to run, and the farther we’ll have to jump just to get on track by the end of the year. For a simple example, delaying a decision for six months that would have ultimately generated $20,000 of monthly revenue will corner us to find an extra $120,000 just to pull even with our plan for the year.
Forbes forecasts that “The economic outlook for most of the world doesn’t look great in 2023. We are told by experts to expect ongoing inflation and subdued economic growth.”
For those who have yet to launch your 2023 action plan, you’re already days behind. Quickly, but prudently fine tune your plan; assure that you have the right resources; and quickly but shrewdly deploy your strategy, capital and people. As we take up arms, let’s remember that the most effective weapons we have are talented leaders who will be making theeveryday decisions impacting every other resource, and every business variable. The ambiguities in the 2023 business climate place a premium on leaders’ agility to adjust or to redirect what may otherwise have been a solid business plan for the year.
Who knows what this year’s surprises may be?
For business owners and leaders, 2023 is our next round to spar with “never befores” like those that characterized 2022. The difference is that we have survived our 2022 experience and can appreciate what the coming year may bring. For 2023, the intensified talents of the right leader must include agility and decisiveness. In looking at the factors that determine business success, having the right leaders trumps all.
In 2022, tactics or procrastination put off some decisions “until next year.”
It is now next year.
Stan Davis and Greg Mickelson are Standish Principals. Both also have decades of corporate leadership experience. At Standish, they work with business owners, executives and boards to secure the right leaders for accelerated growth, change, and succession.