Great leadership is tough to come by, but not impossible. Whether you’re facing major organizational change, or up against an underperforming economy, there are strategies that can help you transition your team and lead more effectively. Leading in difficult times- in this case, during economic recession- isn’t hugely different from day-to-day leadership, but isn’t exactly the same either.
On the positive side, the current challenges we face can be extremely effective at fostering a call to action. Here are five key strategies for recession proof leadership. They aren’t necessarily difficult, but to ignore them will certainly make the end goal more challenging.
No.1: Credibility Is a Must
If ever there was a time for leaders to promote strength through credibility, it’s now during an economic recession. Leadership credibility is as simple as doing what you say and saying what you mean. Your team will notice and will look to you for guidance and direction. Taking a definitive stand on those things that bring comfort during turbulent times and following up on strong statements earns trust. Making difficult calls, stepping up when no one else will and taking command builds loyalty and trust. Your employees need it and it’s the most effective way to benefit the organization as a whole.
No. 2: Increase Visibility
See and be seen. Particularly now, hiding out in your office, lamenting for better times will get you nowhere fast. Get out, be seen, be available, and most importantly, be heard. High visibility coupled with credibility is a near-guarantee for successful leadership. Challenging times present opportunities for you and the business to thrive.
No. 3: Have Empathy
Great leaders have the unique ability to show compassion while remaining strong and steadfast. Putting yourself in your employees’ shoes will help you more effectively understand the challenges they face as their environment changes. Team members who are trying to perform, succeed, and persevere, deserve your respect. And for those who aren’t – perhaps now is as good a time as any to cut them loose.
No. 4: Eliminate Whining
Very rarely do you see a powerful leader complain openly, commiserate or whine–and there’s a reason for that. Your team doesn’t need to know if and when you feel out of control. It doesn’t benefit them or you and it’s simply more advantageous – and healthy –to promote hard work, perseverance and dedication.
No. 5: Focus
During difficult or complicated situations, nothing is more paramount than the ability to focus. Help people understand why things are happening and why the organization is responding as it is, but then move forward. Staying focused on the end goal will help your team direct their energies, prioritize and work together towards a common goal.
Leading effectively during difficult times is a skill that grows out of knowing not only when to respond, but how to respond. Having visibility and staying out front earns you the respect you need to overcome challenges. But having compassion while staying focused and resolute builds credibility and trust- and that’s what separates good leaders from great leaders.