Lead Against the Backdrop of Crisis
If today’s leaders all stay down in the dumps, keep pushing the panic button, and focus on the COVID-19 doomsday possibilities, it will be impossible for them to stabilize their organizations and recover. So what are truly disciplined leaders doing?
For starters, they’re capitalizing on the “silver linings” in their situation, staying positive and optimistic while confronting the brutal facts. They’re also taking action, empowering their people and their organization’s culture like never before. The best managers, CEOs and other top executives are pushing beyond the panic, stepping up their game, and proving to be “front and center leaders.”
And in some ways, they’re no different than any other leader out there who has countless new challenges on their plate. But here’s what IS different about what these more courageous, responsive leaders are doing—and what you, too, can do to up your leadership game in these uncertain times.
Be your best self. Being a strong, effective leader means you practice being honest, authentic and empathetic with your people. Communicate often and transparently about the situation at hand. And be real…show compassion, understanding and concern for your employees and their loved ones. Consistently stay attuned and invested in the health and safety your employees, customers, vendors, etc.
Prove you can lead. Make the critical decisions about how you’ll manage your organization during this time, then set the direction so everyone knows what’s going to happen and where you’re taking them. Not totally sure how you’ll reach your goals or “destination”? No worries. You don’t have to have all the answers, but you do need to engage your team to surface the best ideas, inspire their ownership in those solutions, and ignite the momentum that kicks everyone into collaborative action.
Show you can execute. In pursuing your chosen direction, you may need to change up or create new roles in the organization. And in these times, you’ll certainly have to delegate new responsibilities to your team. Do what it takes to establish these roles and delegate, then hold your people accountable by tracking and measuring progress, taking any necessary corrective action. After that, trust in your people and remember always to celebrate their wins. You don’t have to throw some big party. Just genuine words of encouragement can matter a lot right now. The habit of positive recognition will move people along, confirm purpose, and get everyone closer to their most vital goals.
How are you upping your leadership game right now?