LEADERSHIP – KEY SKILLS FOR CRISIS MANAGEMENT
Leadership- there are many courses, classes and articles out there trying to define what a good, strong, modern leader is. And yet most of them focus on leadership skills one needs when the times are good. But leaders are tested when the times are bad. In recent months crisis management became an important aspect of every company’s strategy and many leaders face a test like never before.
Alongside the world leaders, company owners, CEOs and Managing Directors face leadership challenges as the economy suffers the consequences of the pandemic. So what marks a good leader when the times are bad?
Honesty and Integrity
During a crisis, a good leader needs to demonstrate an honest approach to their team. Integrity to the core values becomes crucial and is the key to survival. This helps leaders navigate the team’s actions in the right direction. Be honest with your team about the challenges you face and they will be ready to walk through the murky waters alongside with you. But if your words prompt doubts in your people, it will be very hard to navigate your way out of the crisis. Leaders succeed when they stick to their values and core beliefs.
It is easy to delivery strong inspirational speeches to your team if everything is going well, but how do you inspire people when you break a piece of bad news? When the going gets tough, they look up to you and see how you react to the situation. If you are successful in inspiring your subordinates, you can easily overcome any current and future challenge easily.
Passion and Commitment
Your team looks up to you and your passion drives them. People appreciate leaders who are ready to get their hands dirty and they follow people who are willing to commit and work hard themselves. When a crisis hits productivity reduces. It doesn’t mean these people are not good or committed, it is just harder to focus and be productive. So a leader who is willing to help will gain the respect of the subordinates and infuse energy. Motivation becomes even more important when the times are bad.
If you are the kind of tough leader that favours dictatorial style crisis management will be very difficult. Yes, you might survive the crisis while leading with a tough hand, but your people will lose their faith in the cause. Once the crisis is over they will slowly move on to the next chapter and you will lose valuable team members. Empathy, on the other hand, is crucial in a crisis. Understanding the problems of your followers and feeling their pain is essential for a leader. As the one who leads, your job is to provide solutions for your people and they will provide solutions for you in return.
Of course, crisis management is a complex task, however, true leaders are tested during these times and inspired organisations who treat their people with empathy and are committed to the core values will emerge victoriously.
Read more about how to stay positive during the lock-down