Former Head of Intelligence on how to lead workers through the unemployment crisis


Unemployment has hit an all time high for the past two years. The COVID pandemic has claimed an overwhelming 750,000 jobs as the UK steps into its most turbulent financial period - one that far exceeds the 2008 crash.

Firms and individuals across the nation are struggling, and workers are looking to their team leaders to guide them through this pandemic. Gareth Tennant, Advisor at The Future Strategy Club (https://futurestrategyclub.co.uk) has 14 years worth of experience at the front line as a Royal Marine, even rising to be the Head of Intelligence. Now, Gareth applies his expertise to the business world.

In a time when business leaders must step up to the challenge and brave the frontline of the financial downturn, Gareth's expertise has never been more relevant.

Over his lengthy military career, Gareth was involved in the planning and execution of a variety of operations around the world across all four components of the UK Armed Forces - Air, Land, Maritime and Joint. In 2015, Gareth's  penchant for strategy and decision making earned him a Fleet Commander Commendation.

Leadership is Gareth's forte, therefore, and now he shares his experience with business leaders looking to drive their firms out of the fog and avoid closure. "The physical hardship, austere conditions and deafening noise of combat is a long way from the sharp suits and lattes of the City, but I’m continually struck by the parallels between the challenges of business with those we faced on combat operations. Perhaps now as the country and, indeed, the world begins to come to terms with the realities of a post-COVID economy, the hard-fought lessons of military operations may be of value. Business leaders surveying the uncertainty of the current business landscape, like military commanders thrust into a new theatre of operations must learn environment.  Strategies cannot be fixed plans, but instead must provide explicit and well-defined objectives along with clear guidance about the boundaries and limits of delegated decision-making. This will allow for adaptability as they learn and grow. Leaders will need to build resilience in their organisations through a combination of contingency planning, mitigating the effect of Taleb’s ‘black swans’, and feedback loops for learning lessons. The most successful businesses, like the most successful soldiers, will not be the strongest or the most disciplined. But those who are humble enough to learn from their mistakes, quickly adapt to their environment and through their actions begin to even shape it and through guile, cunning and tenacity to turn change into opportunity. My key piece of advice is that leaders should remember not to let their guard down and return to business as usual. Instead, think about the range of potential risks and build up the muscle memory to adapt to potential changes."

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