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Leadership, in the calmest of times is challenging, but leading a team through the tough times can demand everything from you and then so much more again. It’s in the tough times, it’s critical our leadership skills are at their best so we can best navigate our team through the bumpy road ahead.
As a leader, what has been the toughest time you’ve had to lead your team through?
Or, as a member of a team, how has your leader led you through tumultuous times?
Welcome to the second and final article in this series. Following below are some additional leadership strategies which are highly effective at keeping you and your people on track in the darker times:
- INCREASE YOUR PASSION AND SIMPLIFY PROCESSES
When times are challenging, highly effective leaders increase their passion and simplify processes to build belief and provide clarity. Like never before, your team will look to you for guidance in the tough times. Your passion cannot wane – it must increase! You as the leader are responsible for leading your team – if you‘re not passionate, why should they be? How can they be? You must lead by example and duplicate the right thinking. And don’t over complicate things. Determine the important things and behaviors that will drive success and focus on those. By keeping it simple you increase clarity and reduce stress on you and your team.
Are you passionate about your team/organisation and it’s vision?
Are you effectively communicating this to your team?
Are you keeping things simple?
What do you need to have better clarity about so that the current leadership challenge you are dealing with can be resolved?
2. HONESTY AND TRANSPARENCY
When leadership challenges exist, there must be complete honesty and transparency amongst the team members so that the challenges can be addressed as a unified team.
If you’re not honest, you’ll eventually be found out. If secrets and doubts swirl around your team, this leads to distraction, mistrust, increased stress, anxiety, disunity and disharmony within the team you lead. Not good for moving forward.
Leaders face the truth head on.
What do you need to be more transparent about?
Are you being honest with your team?
Are your team being honest with you?
3. YOU AS THE LEADER NEED TO CONTINUALLY IMPROVE
Without change there can be no progress, period. If you want to resolve a leadership challenge, as the leader you have to be prepared to change something. What your team needs from you as a leader, particularly in the tough times, is to be a better leader, to continually improve yourself, to never be satisfied with your current skill set. You want your team members to then model your behaviour, but you need to lead by example first.
Where do you need to grow as the leader so that you can lead your team through the challenges you’re facing?
4. WHEN SUCCESSFUL, MAKE THE RIGHT CHANGES SO IT CONTINUES
More than half of the companies listed on the Fortune 500 list have now disappeared since 2000!
A major challenge that requires leadership is to ensure that when success comes, leaders assume nothing and continue leading by bringing about the right changes to avoid any potential decline. The greatest challenge for a leader sometimes is to keep the team or business they lead from declining despite how much success has been achieved.
Is the success your team or business has experienced declining?
Does your team or business look strong on the outside but you know it’s got cracks on the inside?
TOUGH TIMES CHECK LIST FOR LEADERS
When times are challenging, effective leaders understand the need to do the following:
1. Assume nothing!
2. Focus on the future
3. To inspire individuals to rise above the challenge – be passionate and keep things simple.
4. Communicate effectively by communicating verbally and visually.
5. Put more time and resources to build a winning team culture
6. Stimulate and agitate individuals within the team
7. Learn the lessons of failure
8. Empowerment and equipping of individuals so they can perform
9. Duplicate the right leadership thinking
10. Duplicate the right leadership behaviours
11. Be honest and transparent
12. Embrace change and be prepared to change and lead change
13. When successful, make sure you keep changing so success continues.
Don’t be afraid of the challenging times, but embrace them. It’s in these times your leadership skills are honed and refined to make you a better leader if you let it.
Are you embracing the tough times and seeing them as an opportunity?
How well are you currently leading your team? How could you improve?
Who is leading you?