In times of plain sailing, leadership can seem like the ideal job. Fun, easy and coming with many perks! However, sometimes a crisis is impossible to avoid and it’s during these tough times that taking control is most important.
As the captain of the ship for your team, business, or company, you need to know how to respond and behave during uncertainty to effectively guide your crew through choppy waters. Follow these tips to discover how to be an effective leader in troubled times.
1. Be realistic
Success does not come from burying your head in the sand! When circumstances aren’t great, either internally or externally, you need to respond to the crisis as promptly as possible to limit damage and set up an action plan. This won’t happen if you lie to yourself and others about the severity of the situation. In fact, putting off a response and pretending everything is okay can make matters much worse. If the troublesome circumstances will result in financial losses, job uncertainty, and halt of production, you may want to put off telling employees or closing up shop. This is where leadership comes in. it’s your job to make the tough decisions that will be more advantageous in the long run, even if it’s not easy to do.
2. Remember your values
Your business was built around core values and you likely created an aspirational manifesto when starting up detailing exactly what you want your business to prioritize ad the change you want to bring to the world. Focus on these values as you move through the troubled times and make decisions that you can be proud of.
3. Show up
One of the most reassuring things you can do at the moment is to be around. In critical times, knowing the leader is showing up to do what they can is comforting to employees. Stay present, stay visible and let your staff know that you are doing everything you can by working alongside them. Conversely, hiding away will appear cowardly and your employees will not only be pessimistic about future outcomes, but they will also lose respect for you and your leadership skills.
Prevent seditious rumours and quell hysteria by always keeping multiple lines of communication open. Your employees and stakeholders will appreciate being kept in the loop. The moment they feel you are trying to hide something from them is the moment they will begin to panic.
“To install faith amongst your partners, investors and employees, make sure they are constantly updated on proceedings by being available for questions, holding announcements and sending out news updates,” says Jordan McAvoy, tech blogger at Writemyx and Brit Student.
5. Fall back on your training
The reason you are a leader is that someone out there, whether that’s yourself or an employer, believes that you have the skills and ability to handle a crisis. While the exact parameters and specifications of this crisis might seem completely new, you have plenty of experience and training in how to run a business or company, and now is the time to remember what you’ve learned and applied it.
6. Encourage your people
By focusing heavily on what can be achieved and any positive steps that are made, you will be steering your employees and partners to a positive mindset. With your encouragement, you’ll have everyone on board with the idea that they will survive these troubled times. “Having short term goals and positive encouragement will boost morale and keep people focused on the task in hand” says Taroon Anwar, HR at Australia 2 Write and Next Coursework
7. Look after yourself
It’s important to put on a brave face and cultivate the image of having it together. However, if you’re crumbling inside, you won’t be able to pull off the façade for much longer. In times of crisis, make sure you are looking after yourself. At the end of the day, you are human so take the time to exercise, eat well and destress after a long day navigating the harsh environment.
It’s not always easy but with these tips, you can step up to become a strong and effective leader that can not only protect your business and employees but get your business back on track in no time.
Mildred Delgado is a successful, up-and-coming marketing strategist from Oregon in the US, working at Origin Writings and Academic Brits. She has applied her impressive skills to several high-profile marketing campaigns and frequently contributes to PHD Kingdom.