Kossoff on: surviving the recession

I'm frequently asked why I don't talk about how bad the economy is. There are two answers to that question, both of which have everything to do with how you lead your business.

The first is that I have nothing new to say. We know that the economy is bad and that it is going to get worse. We also know that, eventually, it will improve.

The second answer is, no matter what the cycle, your responsibility as business leaders - public or private sector, ornamentals or edibles - is to look objectively at where you are and how you got there, and then to look forward. What is, is. The question is: what do you want to do with it?

You've made a lot of decisions over the years. Some will have turned out well, others not. Some of them have surprised even you on the upside and downside.

Ultimately, you have to deal with the situation you have created - granted, with outside influences - but, still and always, based on your decisions regarding what you thought was the right thing to do.

Now, without getting lost in the hype, it's time to figure out how to build on what you've got to make sure it lives to see another day. Because what you have to remember is that your business still exists. You have survived.

Your job as a leader is to figure out how to turn surviving to thriving. How to take your business to the next logical step.

Hidden below the screaming headlines and unremitting bad news are business opportunities. What it takes to find and execute them, however, is a type and level of thinking, visioning and collaborating that far exceeds what you may have done before.

Business will never look the same as it did in previous times. That's the good news. The better news is that what your business - and your industry - will look like on the upside of this downturn is up to you. If you're smart and proactive - now - you can still win.


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