Managing in Down Times

Question: How can managers motivate employees in down times?

Goldsmith:  Well, managing in down times can be a big challenge and I think the first thing is be honest with people. The employees are not stupid. When things are going bad don’t pretend they’re good. If you try to do that, you’re just demeaning people and they just don’t like it at all. The second thing is involve people and say, “Here is the situation we face. We can change what we can change. We cannot change what we cannot change. How can we make the best of where we are?  How can we move forward best?” and get them involved so you’re not just sitting there telling them what to do and how to do it. You’re involving them as a team and you’re working together to make the biggest positive change you can, realistically facing the market that exists.

Question: If there have been layoffs, how does a business executive successfully lead those that remain?

Goldsmith:  That’s what I would just do. I would talk with the people who have stayed and the first thing is recognize the fact that if two thirds of the people have been fired that may stay, well, that’s kind of a message that they must be seen as pretty valuable people. They’re there and by the way you can express sympathy for the people that aren’t there and say, “Look. We’re in hard times. We can’t keep everybody. You have been selected as one of the top one third people in the- of all the people in the company at your level. We need you. We think we can turn this around. Let’s talk about how. Here’s my ideas. What are your ideas?  How can we work together and do the best we can?”  Be very honest with people and by the way when people get upset and say, “Well, didn’t the company make this mistake or that mistake?” the answer is yeah, we can’t change that. See, the reality is--  You mentioned Lehman Brothers. I work in another bank and they have lost about oh, 30, 40 billion dollars of write-offs. Thirty-six of 38 parts of the bank had great years. A couple parts didn’t. Well, you know what?  Make peace with what is. Life isn’t always fair. Sometimes bad things happen. You just have to face the reality that exists and say, “How can I make the best of it?”

In down times, Goldsmith says that it is important to continue to make what remains of your team feel valued.

Compelling speakers do these 4 things every single time

The ability to speak clearly, succinctly, and powerfully is easier than you think

Former U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee rally at the Anaheim Convention Center on September 8, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Barbara Davidson/Getty Images)
Personal Growth

The ability to communicate effectively can make or break a person's assessment of your intelligence, competence, and authenticity.

Keep reading Show less

Antimicrobial resistance is a growing threat to good health and well-being

Antimicrobial resistance is growing worldwide, rendering many "work horse" medicines ineffective. Without intervention, drug-resistant pathogens could lead to millions of deaths by 2050. Thankfully, companies like Pfizer are taking action.

Image courtesy of Pfizer.
Sponsored
  • Antimicrobial-resistant pathogens are one of the largest threats to global health today.
  • As we get older, our immune systems age, increasing our risk of life threatening infections. Without reliable antibiotics, life expectancy could decline for the first time in modern history.
  • If antibiotics become ineffective, common infections could result in hospitalization or even death. Life-saving interventions like cancer treatments and organ transplantation would become more difficult, more often resulting in death. Routine procedures would become hard to perform.
  • Without intervention, resistant pathogens could result in 10 million annual deaths by 2050.
  • By taking a multi-faceted approach—inclusive of adherence to good stewardship, surveillance and responsible manufacturing practices, as well as an emphasis on prevention and treatment—companies like Pfizer are fighting to help curb the spread.
Keep reading Show less

Preserving truth: How to confront and correct fake news

Journalism got a big wake up call in 2016. Can we be optimistic about the future of media?

Videos
  • "[T]o have a democracy that thrives and actually that manages to stay alive at all, you need regular citizens being able to get good, solid information," says Craig Newmark.
  • The only constructive way to deal with fake news? Support trustworthy media. In 2018, Newmark was announced as a major donor of two new media organizations, The City, which will report on New York City-area stories which may have otherwise gone unreported, and The Markup, which will report on technology.
  • Greater transparency of fact-checking within media organizations could help confront and correct fake news. Organizations already exist to make media more trustworthy — are we using them? There's The Trust Project, International Fact-Checkers Network, and Tech & Check.
Keep reading Show less