In this time of economic strife and angst there is a lot going on. I don’t have to tell you much about the global economic crisis, you are being bombarded on a continual basis by the media with statistics and results that are scary and leave you uneasy.
With all that going on, you have a company to manage, a business to run or an organization to lead and you need to get the best out of the people working for you. Here is what you need to know:
- Each one of your employees is probably frightened for their jobs.
- You need those employees to get you through these tough times.
- The trickle down of the crisis affects everyone in every industry!
The emotional flavour of every company culture is breathing fear and anxiety about the economy. People are being laid off by the thousands and you just want your company to do business and your customers and employees to do well, rally to the challenge and move forward.
Here is the reality, what they need right now is a transformational leader with emotional intelligence and heart to get them through. More-or-less you need the ‘Barrack Obama’ of your environment. His skill in rallying the troops and going to places where people converse and his understanding the people at their level has helped him build a relationship rarely seen in politics and certainly not seen very often in the business world.
Right now, leaders of every kind of organization from non-profit, small business and corporate are feeling the sting of the economy. You have people who are volunteering or in your employ who are aware the dollars are not flowing and they are doing their best in an atmosphere of dread wondering what the smaller cash flow will mean for their jobs, volunteer efforts and business as a whole. Businesses that are suffering through the after-effects of lay-offs are trying to deal with the morale of the teams they so desperately need to get them through this crunch.
There is a great quote I have never forgotten from the movie ‘Remember the Titans’ (2000):
“Attitude reflects leadership, captain.” – Big Ju
That states it in a nut-shell. Attitude of the staff at this moment in time will reflect the leadership they are experiencing. That translates to; If you want your employees to behave and act a certain way you must not only model it but you must promote, communicate and celebrate the behaviour you desire.
Not every leader knows just how to do that when in essence they’re going through all the same fears and anxieties the rest of the organization is going through. Here are some practical suggestions to help you (the leader) along the rickety path of our economic strife.
- If you are avoiding the ugliness of tough decisions by leaving the conversations up to HR, you may very well damage your leadership effectiveness in front of your remaining teams.
- Putting your face in front of all difficult decisions will encourage trust from your staff at all levels
- Preparing a well-thought-out communication plan to inform employees of actions necessary to move forward may subdue rumour and unnecessary fear.
- Honest portrayal of the state the organization is in and how the economy is affecting its functions is very important; people want to know where they stand.
- Avoid the RAH, RAH in an attempt to rally troops with “We are great” if that is clearly NOT what they are feeling, you will only serve to alienate people by not being compassionate to their fears, and worse yet – out of touch with them.
- Get down to where the people are, find out what their fears are and walk about the building having conversations with people at every level of the organization. Ask questions and listen intently, you will begin to get a better read on the general attitude of the population.
We work with people to help them find leadership solutions specific to their organization and understand the significance a transformational leader makes. Working one-on-one to ensure those solutions are custom to the personality and strengths of the leader are integral to reaching the unique situational leadership challenges specific to that leader and their organization.
Why is this important? Time is of the essence right now, you don’t have time for generalized training, you need plans of action specific to right now, where you are with the people who work for you and in the unique situation you find yourself. You need this, because you need to get through these really tough economic times.
So many options… we’re here to accomodate you!
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Strategic Sense is a Leadership Development, Plans of Action and Facilitation organization who’s mission is to change the world for leaders and their employees everywhere. We believe each individual comes with their own unique talents and skills that can be enhanced and utilized to help them become the very best leaders only they can be.