• Leading in times of uncertainty

    April 21, 2022
    Renée Sunde, President & CEO
     
    Just as we step into a post-pandemic world, the uncertainty facing leaders continues. Although COVID’s continued impact on our communities remains a priority, retailers are now facing new challenges. Even with strong retail sales performance in the first few months of the year, we are now facing the highest inflation rates in 40 years, hovering around 8%. The National Federation of Independent Business recently reported a drop in consumer confidence, with the index dropping to 95.7, the 4th lowest mark in the past five years.
     
    The uncertainty has started to restrict consumer spending, and retailers are seeing thinner margins and lower sales volumes. Global unrest around Russia’s war in Ukraine, the increased cost of raw materials, and rising interest rates by the Federal Reserve paint an uncertain picture as we move forward through the remaining eight months of the year.
     
    According to our partners at the National Retail Federation, however, despite all the uncertainty, cautious optimism remains. Consumer sentiment and shopping appetites are returning to near normal. NRF’s recent forecast is strong, with retail sales expected to grow between 6%-8% in 2022.
     
    An article printed by the Harvard Business Review offers 6 strategies for leading through uncertainty which all leaders should consider to remain effective as we navigate the coming months. The article speaks to how leaders must first learn to lead themselves before leading others during times of increasing complexity. Several strategies I have found helpful include:
     
    Read more.