Mark Hauser, founder of the private equity investment firm Hauser Private Equity, says that one of the first steps taken towards becoming a successful business owner is recognizing the inevitability of change in life. According to him, once you abandon the futile desire for stability or consistency, genuine progress can commence. With over three decades of leadership experience, Hauser has come to find that relying on your company’s purpose and vision is the most effective way to keep your team focused amidst turbulence.
However, he notes that it’s important to distinguish between the constant, everyday flux and significant, relentless change triggered by factors like company buyouts, financial crises, or more recently, a pandemic. Mark Hauser founded his firm during the Great Recession, and said that while every entrepreneur knows that building a business is challenging even in the most favorable circumstances, it becomes an entirely different game when the uncertainties of a recession come into play.
For Mark Hauser, he faced answering tough questions from his partners who left their previous positions to join him at the firm, as they naturally had concerns about how a recession would impact overall strategy. Hiring employees also proved difficult, as it was hard to find individuals willing to take risks during such turbulent times.
Hauser said that although he had led teams for over a decade prior, this was the first time he held the top position in which everyone in the company looked solely to him for answers. He credits starting his company during the economic crisis that helped him discover the best way to maintain focus in times of turbulence is staying true to a strong core vision and purpose.
No matter how hard you strive to make decisive choices, constant exposure to new and unfamiliar situations will eventually leave you in a position of indecision, says Mark Hauser. You and your team won’t always have the luxury of textbook solutions for every challenge, and it’s simply impossible to foresee everything. Even if you initially devised strategies for every possible scenario, the dynamic nature of markets renders them quickly outdated. This is why Hauser advises that when you encounter decision-making dilemmas, referring to your company’s mission statement, and ethics can serve as valuable guiding principles.
Relying on principles not only aids strategic thinking, but also facilitates clear communication with your team regarding the rationale behind your decisions. By keeping your business’s principles at the forefront of their minds, framing decisions in that context helps them understand your perspective, reducing confusion. Additionally, Hauser says it has the added bonus of empowering them to respond confidently and effectively in situations when you’re not present.
Hauser’s experience navigating the challenges of the Great Recession highlights the importance of adaptability and the ability to make decisions amidst turbulence. By relying on principles rooted in the company’s mission and ethics, leaders can guide their teams through uncertainty and communicate the reasoning behind their choices. This approach fosters clarity, reduces confusion, and empowers team members to respond confidently even in the absence of their leader. Ultimately, Mark Hauser’s leadership philosophy exemplifies the importance of staying true to one’s purpose while navigating unpredictable business landscapes.