How to Lead In Tough Times

Forbes discusses leading in tough times and gives five essentials "for leadership through difficult, and how to bring them to bear."

"Leading an organization through hard times is challenging by definition. It requires a deliberate focus and extra attention to a few critical areas that can make the difference between a quick rebound followed by sustained improvement in performance--or by a downward spiral that may become irreversible.
And it's in facing headwinds, of course, that the captain of the ship proves his or her mettle."

The five Forbes essentials include:

  1. Communicate continually and honestly.
  2. Hatch a plan based in reality.
  3. Hang on to your best talent.
  4. Act decisively.
  5. Alter your perspective.

There's a few more I would add:

  1. Don't try to be the superhero.

Nobody likes someone who tries to do it all and fails. Everyone will be in awe of you if you do what you do best and let others do the rest. A leader knows how to delegate to other members of his/her team so that she/he can focus on the essential core tasks of leadership. Trying to impress your team by agreeing to everything they request or point out will get you nowhere.

  1. Give out more praise than criticism.

This does not mean simple flattery or half-truths. There are ways to praise so that people realize what they missed or did wrong. Try rewarding strong work and recommending alternative ideas for less-strong work at the same time. And don't criticize. If you find this difficult, get Giving Feedback: Expert Solutions to Everyday Challenges, by Harvard Business School Press.

"Good feedback is essential to helping employees perform better at work. It lets people know when they are meeting or exceeding expectations, and when they need to get back on the right track. This practical guide shows managers how to develop and refine this necessary skill."

Feedback is communication. Are you giving feedback or a performance review? Are you wanting a different approach or just want to tweak the approach already taken? Learning to differentiate between what you want to accomplish and then saying it to accomplish that is a sure sign of a leader.

Anything else to add to this list? Feel free to add your thoughts.

blog comments powered by Disqus