Leaders need to become much better at getting more done with less. And, if those managers don’t change their ways, fewer people will stay with them. And their results will continue to decline. That, of course, will create more failing people and companies.
Unless you enjoy working at a place which seems to define success as simply not failing one year at a time, I suggest you learn to embrace these two concepts:
# Power is not the same as force
There’s a real difference between power and force but it’s widely misunderstood. Consequently, when times get tough, in an effort to get more productivity with fewer players, most managers simply try to push their teams ever harder. It’s kind of like trying to break your dog of a bad habit by using a whip – it’ll work for a while but at some stage the law of diminishing returns kicks in. And you may end up getting bitten!!
People appreciate being asked for their advice. Especially if the manager is sincere about using it. Team members will give power to the boss if she or he doesn’t use it against them. And the boss will get much more done he’s are on the employee’s side than would be the case by simply trying to force his decisions downward.
# The real organization's quality
You can tell the quality of an organization by those who are leaving it, not those who are joining it. Even in difficult situations, good managers can recruit and hire high-quality players to boost the performance of their team through the use of money or other perks. This can mislead the manager into thinking all is well (or at least that things will get better) with the new players on board.
In an environment where the contribution of everyone is paramount, watch carefully to see who is leaving on her own volition. Sick organizations have a way of causing the good players to bail out even if they’ve been told they’re being kept on during downsizing or difficult times. The result is that the new players who are recruited end up joining a team of losers and don’t make the hoped-for contribution.