CEO Coaching: So Many Unanswered (Unanswerable?) Questions

Will interest rates keep rising?

Will my supply chain ever get fixed!?

Should I require vaccinations for my workers?

Are customers’ behavioral changes permanent?

Should I require my team to return to the office?

I need employees; where will they come from?

How will upcoming government action (or inaction) affect my business?

Will my business model and strategy still work in this new environment?

What part should I play in saving the environment and social justice?

Some days, it makes you wonder if business leadership is worth the hassle, doesn’t it? 

Senior leaders are often faulted, sometimes praised and frequently stressed out. It comes with the territory — always has. But I believe that there’s a difference now, and it’s all those unanswered (perhaps unanswerable) questions that senior leaders must attempt to address.

I have more faith in the collective wisdom of good business leaders than political leaders, so I’m glad some of you think hard about these questions. Government, reasonable regulations and oversight are absolutely necessary, but ingenuity driven by good capitalism will solve these problems.

Many of you have been in hurry-up offense (or more likely defense!) for many months now. The bad news is that there are no easy answers. There are, however, multiple likely outcomes to the tough questions, and you need a plan.

Resist the urge to kick the can down the road. Carve out time and discuss these questions (you probably have others) with your senior team. You’ll probably want to have quarterly discussions for the time being. (Some of you already have weekly meetings on the challenges in front of you.)

Leading and managing in tough times is often a function of establishing the right process. What questions will you ask? Who will be in the room? How often will you meet?

You’ll never anticipate everything, but you can plan for much!

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