The Lead: Walmart-Amazon Rivalry, World’s Longest Sea Bridge, Jordan Reclaims Land

The Lead, AchieveForum’s weekly brief of leadership news and insights, provides quick clarity into relevant headlines and straight-forward analysis for applying effective leadership tools and techniques.

Updates on the Walmart-Amazon Rivalry

Walmart has a multi-faceted strategy to compete with the online retail titan Amazon. One component of their strategy is about competition in the food industry. Walmart’s 182,000-square-foot super centers are one of its most competitive aspects, even after Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods. Even though Walmart’s online platform continues to trail behind Amazon, approximately 90 percent of Americans live within 10 miles of a Walmart giving the company a distinct competitive advantage.

Our View: Regardless of their industry, smart leaders compete with Amazon and Uber because of how they changed the way customers think about services and product delivery. Leaders benefit by paying attention to disrupters in all fields since they change customer expectations. Write down ten ways Uber and Amazon have affected your business. Under each item list an opportunity it creates and how one of your company’s strengths can be leveraged to seize that particular opportunity. Actually writing down this part of the classic SWOT analysis will ignite fresh strategic ideas. Further Reading

Related AchieveForum content: Leading in the Digital Age

World’s Longest Sea Bridge Set to Open

The 55km (34 miles) bridge and tunnel connecting Hong Kong to mainland China via Macau is set to open. This will be the world’s longest sea bridge, and for perspective, it’s about 20 times the length of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. The new bridge is built to withstand earthquakes, typhoons, and accidental ship strikes and will cut the previously land-only journey around the Pearl River Delta from four hours to 30 minutes.

Our View: Every efficient leader understands the value of saving time. They know when to speed up tasks and when to spend extra time on revisions and process improvements. Leaders keep sight of their most important priorities and align their calendar accordingly. Many effective leaders set all of their meetings back-to-back so that the rest of their day is a solid block of time that allows them to get into the zone to do their best work. It’s important to experiment to find what time-saving methods work best for your individual leadership style. Further Reading

Related AchieveForum Alliance member content: Managing Your Priorities

King Abdullah II of Jordan Reclaims Lands

King Abdullah II of Jordan is cutting off Israelis’ free access to two tracts of land along the border that fall within Jordanian territory, saying that “Al-Baqura and Al-Ghamr have always been our top priority” referring to the places by their Jordanian names. The decision was influenced by internal political pressure and was confirmed in an emergency session of the Jordanian cabinet.

Our View: Geopolitical decisions impact business outcomes, and business leaders should ask the right questions to navigate the volatile and complex geopolitical world. Asking basic questions like “what are the geopolitical risks facing our organization?” to “how can we be more proactive?” can create a roadmap for what is often ambiguous territory. Further Reading

Related AchieveForum content: Leading in the Digital Age

Germany Halts Arms Exports to Saudi Arabia

Following the killing of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Germany halted its arms exports to Saudi Arabia and urged other EU member states to do the same. “The government is in agreement that we will not approve further arms exports for the moment because we want to know what happened,” said Peter Altmaier, German Economics Minister.

Our View: The old adage that actions speak louder than words rings especially true for those in leadership roles. They lead by example and should focus on explaining the how and why surrounding events and decisions. Further Reading

Related AchieveForum Alliance member content: Leading in ContextLeading Change

Happy Halloween at the Box Office

In first place at the box office, “Halloween” received about $77.5 million in ticket sales from North American theaters and had the second-highest horror opening of all time. “Audiences are responding to movies big and small right now — You can have your cinematic fast food and fine dining all at once right now. The movie-going experience is as viable and relevant as ever,” said comScore senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian.

Our View: Whether it’s reviving a brand or an entire industry, leaders must communicate what their organization stands for. Ideas, while important, are not as vital as people. To instill a sense of purpose, don’t confuse the pursuit of greatness with the pursuit of growth. Growth can be disorderly. Making your company bigger without an underlying authentic mission creates an undisciplined culture. Encourage loyalty and build trust with others by taking actions that demonstrate these same qualities in yourself. Further Reading

Related AchieveForum Alliance member content: Leading Innovation; Building Trust Under Pressure; Building Team Pride and Purpose

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