During these unprecedented times, people will remember what you do as a leader more than any other time. You need to be your best self and focus on your team’s human needs first. You will come out of this either as a stronger leader or weaker. Take this adverse time as an opportunity to step up and help your team not just cope but succeed together.
It has been hardwired into our brains to focus on the “hard” business metrics when facing economic uncertainty, but we often forget the “softer” side of leadership. Your soft skills can be the difference in simply ‘making it through’ this versus coming out of this stronger. Here are some things to remember to ensure you are building your leadership credibility and not tearing it down.
- Communicate – The majority of us are working remotely which creates more disconnects. Increase your frequency of how and when you communicate – not just team meetings but try quick team touch downs where each member quickly gives a summary of what they have on their plate the next week and what they could use help on. Don’t forget to do non-business-related check-ins with your team individually to ask them how they are, how their family is doing and how you can support them during this time.
- Transparency – Simply put, share what you know when you know it. Your team understands the rate at which change is happening, but they want transparency through the process, so let them know what you know when you know it.
- Stability – Be the calmness in the storm. Show your team that we are all in this together, to support each other, to keep pushing forward and ensure them this is temporary. Be factual and positive.
- Decisive – Now is not the time to make long drawn out decisions. Reaction time is everything, monitor information from the appropriate sources and swiftly make decisions based on facts. Ask for input and feedback and use it! Decisiveness shows stability – now more than ever teams need to know someone is steering the ship.
- Lean In – This is not a time to be still. Be present and pro-active with your team. Teamwork is your greatest competitive advantage, use it. This is more important now more than ever.
- Self-Growth – Use this time as an opportunity to grow. High emotional intelligence is one of the top strengths of great leaders-take this time to learn what it is and how to improve it. Ask your peers, team and family for feedback and help with your development.
While there is no silver bullet or one right approach to any situation, being human and treating others humanly is a sure shot at being remembered as a great leader.
- How credible are you as a leader right now?
- Are you building up or tearing down your leadership credibility?