What do CEOs do at the moment of crisis?
A few days after the corruption scandal that has shaken the government erupted I was in Barcelona for a short break.
While watching the news about the resignation of ministers; my childhood friend who is hosting me took a deep breath and said “at least they are resigning.”
She was no doubt referring to the fact that no one has resigned in the corruption scandal that erupted in the Spanish construction sector that goes as far as Prime Minister Rajoy.
With 26 percent unemployment and 1.5 million houses waiting to be sold, despite some tiny improvement in the economy, the business community does not have a hopeful look for 2014 according to my friend.
It is clear that political turbulences make first and foremost the business world anxious.
A research done by the Magazine Economist in Turkey about the CEO’s prior to the resignation of ministers and the change in the cabinet revealed interesting data.
71.4 percent of the 132 CEO’s of huge companies believe the economy will be seriously affected by the corruption scandals.
Those concerned that Turkey’s credit rating can go down is around 63.6 percent.
Going over the research, I could not refrain from thinking how life must be difficult for the CEO’s at the head of the companies.
Let’s say you have put forward certain targets for 2014; yet you see all these plans get disrupted by unexpected developments.
What a CEO does at these types of moments?
Let’s listen to Agah Uğur the CEO of Borusan Holding which is expecting a $4.3 billion turnover for 2013.
I can easily say that Uğur who has been working for long years in Borusan Holding , active in sectors like steel, energy, logistics, is among the most dynamic and transparent of all the CEOs I have come to know.
He took the stage recently together with a famous actor and talked about his profession as a CEO to a small group of people.
We watched his performance that could equal stand up shows with amazement. He gave open-hearted answers to all questions be it on his private or professional life.
One of the most dedicated participants of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Agah Uğur is a person that is very curious, someone who runs after innovation, modest but most important of all someone who can dream.
If I were to give you an example about how he is running after everything new, I would say his recent decision to give up his sizeable collection of drawings that he gathered with his wife and focus on the art of video. He even set up a small museum for himself for the video art he purchased.
With answers to the questions coming from the audience that reflected humor and intelligence, Uğur explained the secret of success:
To like your job at a point of obsession, working hard, be multi-focused and being devoid of egos. To dream and be able to design these dreams in a way others can understand them and motivate people.”
Uğur’s statements about the future that is prone to crisis is very relevant to current developments in Turkey:
“I do not have any concern about the future because whatever we plan with the future does not generally get realized. Most of the times plans go to the trash can. It is very complex to shape the future. That’s why it is important to remain flexible and be able to cross from one job to another.
The key word for CEOs in times of crisis is “flexibility.”