I was listening to a CBC Radio program recently, and the topic was focused on the Uber wars — or the taxi industry versus Uber (and others like it.) For those who haven’t heard about this, Uber is basically putting the taxi industry out of business in many areas.
I went into listening with no opinion either way, but perhaps, I leaned toward the Uber side a bit simply based on my own experiences. Cabs are expensive and, in my experience, with Uber (in Nashville, specifically), we saved a ton of money using service. (Especially helpful in a city where tourists basically need a vehicle to see everything.)
As I listened to a man describe in more detail the challenges the taxi drivers are facing, how for example, their fares are heavily regulated through The City of Toronto, and they couldn’t lower pricing without it going to City Council first. I started to correlate their experience with so many other industries affected by technology.
Let’s face it: No industry has been left untouched by modern technology. On either side of the coin, someone is benefiting and someone is losing.
I often find myself thinking about what life will be like in ten years, twenty, or fifty. How different routine day-to-day things will be. Surely, in ten years, Uber will be a thing of the past, replaced with something even more clever.
This poses an inherent challenge for us all: How can we focus on accepting these changes, rather than resisting them?
And for leaders: How can we lead with confidence when careers — entire industries even — are unstable, and there is no guarantee of how they will look in the future?
Leading through Resistance and the Unexpected
Here are my 3 tips on how leaders can prepare for the unexpected.
I can’t stress the importance of diversification enough. As leaders, we need to diversify our skills and talents. We need to diversify our services. We need to diversify our employees skills and talents. It’s ALL about diversification.
That said, the diversification has to be thoughtful. There are a many options and paths one can take in business, so we need to research, think things through, and go with our gut.
2. Trust Others
Often those in leadership roles put a lot of pressure and stress on themselves to find the solutions to problems. Sometimes, especially during times of change, it’s important to open our ears and listen to others. A simple conversation can open our minds and allow us to see something we’ve been missing.
3. Admit Defeat
Often, things have to change for progress to be made. Sometimes the old way is no longer sustainable. Admitting defeat is so often associated with failure. But is that really a bad thing? Failure, as we’ve talked about many times here on Thin Difference, is a key to learning and growing. No successful business person/leader could say that they’ve never failed. Being prepared means being able to admit defeat. It’s a perfect opportunity to make bigger change. Maybe it’s a business re-brand. Maybe it’s a new direction for a product. Be adaptable and willing to fail.
What are your thoughts on how we can prepare ourselves for changing industries looking forward?