2008-2010 were tough global recession years. Some media called it the great recession of our era. Some lost, some won, and some came out steady and unscathed.
The same will hold true during this recession. Now for our Dojo Members in the United States, there are positive growth signs on the horizon. But for us in Canada, specifically where I live in the Province of Alberta, we are in a full on recession.
It's ugly. Calgary, where I call home, we have seen 6,350 people laid off in the downtown core area alone. The impact is being felt in every sector. I could go on for another hour. But we are here to innovate through this time.
I recently attended the largest annual real estate conference in Calgary. One of my favourite parts of the conference is the CEO/Leadership Panel. They always bring up great business leaders who share their insights and experiences with the group.
Here are the great insights that will help you innovate and come out of this and any recession on the other side without a scratch on you. We will highlight the words of wisdom shared by our four recession proofing CEO Leaders from this year's panel below.
Mr. Gray with more than 50 years of energy sector business experience has built several great companies and sold one in 2001 along the way for $3.4 Billion.
Mr. Gray had the following tips to share in order to get through the recession without a scratch. First, "attitude is more important than facts". He stated that if you have a great attitude, one of a learner, than you can make informed decisions when the facts eventually change. Keep your attitude solid in challenging times.
Hire and work with people who can bring commitment and perseverance to work each day. When you get turned down or a sale is rejected, listen for the why. That is more valuable because it can lead to bigger and better quality of the next yes.
He said that when they left a prospective client's office who said no, he and his colleagues genuinely felt bad for the people because Mr. Gray truly believed he had the best solution for them and without his solution, the prospective client could face undue hardship.
He then went on to note how throughout over 50 years of business, "often times our greatest goals are achieved right after a disappointment". But it is critical to keep on with the mantra of "thou shalt not quit". He said this mantra saved him many times from harm.
Lastly, he told us how developing great relationships with people builds the bridges before you ultimately need to use them to cross to the other side.
More info on Mr. Gray can be found here:
Randy is a strong and well respected local businessman who has raised millions of dollars through his fundraisers to help fund Calgary's own Prostate Cancer Centre.
Randy's biggest tip is to hire people who are smarter than you.
Randy sternly noted his belief that "you can't motivate people. You can create the atmosphere for people to come to work motivated" to be a part of something awesome. Build desire to be part of a winning team is critical to achieving this.
The other inspiring axiom that Randy shared was that "attitude trumps aptitude". Be a curious person at work. When hiring people, look at how they conduct their personal lives as an indicator of how they will handle your business needs.
He also implores you to build a strong reputation because your reputation and track record is everything. "Keep it solid", was Randy's motto.
More info on Mr. Remington can be found here:
Paul told us how he struggled at the start of his career to find the right fit of work. Then he found the construction industry and saw great worth in seeing tangible evidence of your work each day that goes beyond the intangible.
I loved his attitude because he shared a very common truth that I have seen so many times in my own career. Paul noted how your work ethic can differentiate yourself. Paul's words of wisdom were softly spoken as, "You can outwork a smarter person than you".
But you need a great attitude. You also need to be a perpetual learner. Be someone who has a "solutionistic" mindset. This can take you farther than other people who might be smarter or better educated because you will be a value contributor to your business.
More info on Mr. Douglas can be found here:
Jon has managed large national companies such as Oxford Properties who is a global property developer and manager. Jon imparted some smart personal and career tips on dealing with less than ideal times.
Personally, he said that "everyone should get their house in order. Make sure the car you drive is paid for." Get your mortgage paid off or down to a reasonable level that is within your budget. When you have home base covered, you can manage easier through the other uncertainties you face each day.
"You can't largely be someone who you're not", came from the calm and straight voice of experience. Jon advocated to build a good group of core relationships with people. This will carry you through the recession and challenging times. We all need strong people to help and support us in both an up and down economy.
More info on Mr. Love can be found here:
And there you have it. For CEO's who shared their best wisdom for how to be recession proof and come out of this and any other recession without a scratch on you.
Let us know in the comments what you thought of our CEO/Leadership advice today. We welcome your insights on breaking through a recession.
I am a grower of human capability and a business builder. The best part of my life is helping people become stronger and develop their skills, talents and character in order to lead powerful lives. I have had the great privilege to study under some of the greatest minds of business, leadership, health and fitness along with the most talented Martial Arts instructors. My passion is helping people to become even more powerful in life than they already are.
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