“Leadership in Tough Times”

Myriad volumes of text have been written about leadership. I received this in an e-mail from Rodney Hall of the Talon Group. I have no affiliation with Mr. Hall except that I’m on his distribution list. Hall credits a ULI discussion for his content. I found this brief insight straightforward and unpretentious and advice most of us can put to work right away.

Leadership in Tough Times

The burden of the economic recovery extends beyond unemployment statistics, business failures and the erratic financial markets. It forces us to modify our behavior on several fronts, personally and professionally. How it impacts the leadership role was a topic of discussion at a recent ULI meeting. Here are the highlights:

Communicate- more often!

  • It’s not enough to simply communicate with your team- for maximum effectiveness it must occur frequently. This goes a long way to curbing speculation and helping team members stay focused.
  • Withholding relevant information leads to speculation, rumors and hearsay. If bad news lands on the doorstep, better to share it than not.
  • Share only what needs to be shared; don’t over-inform. People deserve to hear the truth, but not beyond the facts that pertain to them.
  • Take internal audits to gauge team members’ state of mind: what are they feeling, what are their needs, what can you do to support them?
  • Tip: It’s perfectly fine to not have answers to every question or comment; listening is the first step to being an effective leader (and probably the most difficult for people in leadership!)

Model the Right Behavior

  • You don’t have to be the first to arrive and the last to leave every day, just make sure you’re not a LIFO- Last in, First out.
  • Do more than is required and not just in your area of responsibility. Pitching in to help others- above or below your rank- is the at the heart of servant leadership.
  • Remember, nothing kills morale more than a leader labeled as “Do as I say, not as I do.”

Engage the Team

  • The ability to adapt to changing environments or market demands is critical to the success of any business. The same is true of the people on your team. Help them break free from the routine by encouraging feedback.
  • Step 1: make certain everyone understand the basics well and are pursuing those standards consistently. No need to try building on a weak foundation!
  • Step 2 : keep everyone focused daily on the “work at hand” or in Zen terms, “being in the moment”. This helps minimize distractions, gossip and needless speculation.
  • Step 3: ask for input, ideas and feedback then, actually try some of them. Celebrate the successes (loudly), no matter how small the impact. In times like these, your team needs every win it can get!

Source: The Talon Group
16801 Addison Road, Suite 410
Addison, TX 75093

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