Ram Charan , is a business consultant, speaker, and writer of some books related to business such as “What the CEO Wants You to Know” or “ Leadership in the Era of Economic Uncertainty”. He was born in India, and at the age of 67 he has work at companies like Bank of America, DuPont , EMC, Dell and Verizon and many others.


The text is about how every leader of any company must react at any kind of economic crisis, and explains the case of Chad Holliday and how he answered the call for leadership in his company, DuPont.

DuPont CEO Chad Holliday realized that the economic crisis was spreading globally and infecting the financial industry while he was visiting an important costumer in Japan, who had ordered his executives to conserve cash for some financial problems in the future.

When Holliday arrived to the United States he organized a meeting to analyze their situation and to talk about future difficulties. The conclusion was that the crisis was affecting some DuPont’s sectors, they were having problems at Wilmington, where DuPont has its headquarters, in Delaware and also at DuPont paint.

Fortunately, DuPont had a plan called “The Corporate Crisis Plan” to solve this kind of problems, but Holliday wasn’t sure about calling it up because it could frighten the company’s 60.000 employees. In the end, he decided to initiate the “Corporate Crisis”.

When the plan started, communication with employees took several forms. Holliday met the company’s chief economist and the head of its pension fund and explained them the origin of the crisis. Also every employee had a face-to-face meeting with a manager who asked them what things could be done to conserve cash and reduce costs. First reactions were good, employees were reducing costs, but Chad Holliday had the feeling that people didn’t understand the urgency with which they needed to be acting. “Maybe we gave them so much confidence and they weren’t responding as fast as the crisis demanded” he thought.

Holliday dealed with other companies´ managers but they also were reacting too slowly against the incipient crisis. Even the immediate crisis measures, DuPont had some longer-term actions to reduce costs, these decisions were simply but DuPont’s team had to be careful.

By Chad Holliday, first DuPont’s reactions took place in less than six weeks and as Ram Charan explains us this is the way that a leader must act at any time when leadership calls him.

(419 words)

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