Leading In Turbulent Times

The frightening new normal is the rising global instability brought on by internal and international political collapse.

Over the previous six years, businesses have had to deal with five major “uncertainty shocks”: Brexit in 2016, the US presidential election, trade tensions with China, the COVID-19 virus, and the Ukraine war in 2022. Furthermore, these shocks are a little different from the economic ups and downs that CEOs might be more accustomed to considering. They have a significant influence and are getting harder to navigate.

What does this indicate about the current status of commerce and entrepreneurship? These uncertainties, which are happening increasingly frequently, affect enterprises. In order to reduce the shock elements and get ready for these kinds of situations, business owners and entrepreneurs need to buckle down and focus. Unpredictability will always exist, but with the appropriate planning, turning things around will be much simpler.

Businesses may deal with this and adjust to the new reality in three ways: by actively watching world events, paying for flexibility, and taking contingency plans into account.

In turbulent times, staying updated on events is helpful to avoid being caught off guard by global shocks. For larger companies, it might even be useful to invest in employees and resources to keep a closer eye on geopolitics, paying special attention to the regions and topics that have the most effects on your business. It is also important to pay attention to global politics and the economy.

Flexibility is beneficial when there is more uncertainty. This can entail signing shorter leases, using independent contractors rather than full-time workers, or renting equipment rather than buying it. Wherever possible, avoid long-term commitments since they restrict your ability to respond rapidly to significant shocks.

Companies with backup plans in place are better able to react fast and risk fewer mistakes. You don’t have to be aware of every aspect of the impending shock in advance to accomplish this. Companies can model broader scenarios such a sudden drop in consumer demand, the failure of a key supplier, or an increase in the cost of doing business in a specific country. Making backup plans is like buying insurance; you hope you never need it, but if you do, it may be very helpful. Due to the rising level of global volatility, this is more likely to happen now than it has ever been, making emergency actions crucial now more than ever.

There is a lot of chatter about how the economy is going up in flames and we need the government to step in. This is not the truth. Business is the backbone of our economy and it is time that we as entrepreneurs take charge and lead the way, stabilizing our own conditions rather than waiting for someone else to come to the rescue. This new normal isn’t as scary as it appears, you just have to be prepared and make wise decisions. Trust me you’ll be fine.


Written by

Ziad K. Abdelnour, Wall Street financier, trader and author is President & CEO of Blackhawk Partners, Inc., a private family office that backs accomplished operating executives in growing their businesses both organically and through acquisitions and trades physical commodities – mostly oil derivatives – throughout the world.