Leadership is many things. Leadership is layered. Leadership requires certain skillsets, mindsets and matters of perspective. Leadership is not one single attribute, but rather a combination of traits and skills. The one thing everyone can agree on about leadership is that it’s critical to the success of all organizations. During times of crisis, leaders can mean the difference between a company making it through and not. CEOs, entrepreneurs and really anyone who leads a team could particularly benefit from certain characteristics right now. At least four leadership skills will prove crucial to surviving the pandemic with business intact.
Leadership Is Outlook
Leaders share a positive mindset. Hone your ability to transform dilemmas and obstacles into advantages and opportunities. Be positive and engaging with your team, but don’t be irresponsibly optimistic. Pretending everything is and will be okay fails to adequately address reality, hampering your team’s ability to adjust and take steps toward improving bad situations, and ultimately eroding your team members’ trust in you.
Prioritizing positivity is especially beneficial in times of uncertainty and challenge. An abundance of research demonstrates that a positive outlook fosters resilience, reduces anxiety and stress, heightens mental clarity and focus and improves work performance.
Leadership Is Action
Leadership lives in actions you take, not the speeches you make. Lead by example. Be helpful and be a team player. Now is not the time to sit behind your desk and now is not the time for indecision. Now is not the time for business as usual, as if everything is normal. Be proactive and not reactive. That said, sometimes action is being the one to slow down the hyperactive actions of others. It’s always important to pause for introspection and reflection in times of crisis or uncertainty.
Leadership Is Motivational
Leaders motivate. Inspire and support your team, helping people look past the downside of the situation and challenges we are currently facing to find ways to move forward toward solutions. Share a vision of the company’s future with your team and involve everyone in making that future a reality. Set short-term and long-term goals, communicate those goals and empower your team to meet those goals. Show appreciation for your team members’ work, express gratitude for their participation and presence on the team and let them know they and their contributions are of value.
Leadership Is Influential
Leadership influences those around you. When you share your positive, hopeful perspective, take proactive steps, and support your team, you build strong, trusting relationships. These connections put you in a place of influence: people seek you out for encouragement and guidance, and they want to not only do the things you ask, they want to do their best work. True influence comes from that trust and respect your team has for you. The more respect you give, the more respect you get. Cultivate respect and trust, and lead in ways that inspire credibility. Be open and authentic.
Leadership in uncertain conditions is a balancing act that requires flexibility, adaptability and empathy. Rising to the challenge amid an environment of trauma and economic stress will be challenging for even the most seasoned leader. Remember that the best leaders realize the significance of teamwork and the value of coaching. Surviving this unprecedented global crisis requires great leaders, yes, as well as collective effort.
Questions to Consider
- Are you being proactive?
- How are you inspiring and motivating your team?
- Are you sharing a positive perspective?