Invest in development
How to motivate employees in 2010? The way all good leaders have motivated their troops going back to World War II, when we built ships and planes and made field officers in record time.
Tough times are an opportunity to develop leaders. When I was running GE's leadership development at Crotonville in the 1980s, we were completing the lay-off of 100,000 employees, divesting another 100,000 and acquiring 100,000. Jack Welch saw this as a great opportunity to grow leaders, which we did.
Turn adversity into an opportunity for leaders at all levels to develop their judgment in key areas, including: people (who should be on their team or leave the team), strategy, and the handling of crises. The key is to make sure real learning happens. At GE we invested more money and time in leadership development as we laid people off.
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