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Back To Basics

by David Brock on October 16th, 2020

I saw an article in my newsfeed by McKinsey: How European marketing and sales leaders handle COVID-19’s effects. In reading it, I was underwhelmed. There was nothing really new, what they were talking about was really sound leadership and management practice—COVID crisis or not.

Reflecting on it, I realized, perhaps that’s the point!

Basic principles, thoughtful leadership, sharp execution always work! Contexts change–but these basics always enable people and the organization to respond and adapt much more quickly.

What the COVID crisis, or any crisis for that matter, has done is made visible our bad practice. It’s made them visible to us, our people, our customers/suppliers, and within our markets.

It has provided us no place to hide. It has stripped away the opportunity to “spin” bad execution and mediocre results in analyst meetings or shareholder reports.

It has exposed bad culture, absence of values, bad strategy, poor leadership, and undisciplined/unfocused execution. And too many of those who have not mastered the fundamentals, reach out for the latest miracle cures/fads, or blame COVID, the economy and anything else.

At the same time, those people and organizations that have mastered the fundamentals and constantly execute them, have faced the same things. Yet, the majority are navigating these circumstances much more successfully.

Of course they have been impacted, but they have managed to minimize it as much as possible. More importantly, they are navigating the future with clarity and purposefulness based on fundamental principles.

As we look at these organizations, they have always stood out as leaders with their customers, in their markets, and industries. They create cultures of empowered/inspired people who are driven to execute at the highest levels.

There is no magic. There are no miracle cures.

We have always known the fundamentals and basic principles that underlie excellence in execution are always the foundation. We do need sharp leadership to adapt them to the situations we face now and in the future.

None of this is surprising. We have always known this.

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