Everyone seemed surprised when the unemployment rate fell in August. Some said the data was wrong; others said the analysts were wrong; others surmised that JobKeeper was keeping zombie companies alive. For whatever reason, the economists and media were reluctant to acknowledge that a large percentage of small and medium companies were not declining during the pandemic but were holding their own. In fact, some were still growing.
How could that be? Were those companies just “lucky”? Or have some of the CEOs/MDs and executives of small and medium companies in Australia become “conscious competents”, i.e. have they learned what to do to survive, grow, and succeed – even during these difficult circumstances?
There are 250,000 small and medium companies in Australia employing between 5 – 199 employees. They comprise 28% of all employing companies.
The CEOs of small and medium companies who developed the leadership competency to navigate and grow, despite the pandemic – the “conscious competents” – are the JobBuilders of today and tomorrow. As a nation, we need to understand what they did, how they learned to grow, how they think, and what kinds of decisions they made. We need to teach that way of thinking and those skills to the CEOs and executives of other small and medium companies, so they too can become JobBuilders and fuel the economic growth and employment we need in a post-pandemic Australia. This report identifies some critical factors that have made these “conscious competents” successful during the COVID-19 pandemic.