Handling the ups and downs of a leadership role like a leader
2020 April 15
What does leadership teach each and every one of us on a daily basis? As leaders and management, we all express the same notions from dealing with different personalities and learning how to communicate best to them while understanding your own emotional intelligence and strengths.
No matter if someone is a Vice President of a company or the supervisor with no experience, each person faces crisis and adversity through their leadership experiences, and in those situations, that is what makes leaders a true leader.
As COVID-19 continues to leave the globe with uncertainty and crisis at hand, leadership during adversity and crisis never prepares you for this time in our nation.
“And as I saw my battalion commander, because I had let him down. And I went up to apologize to him and he said, ‘Stanley, I thought you did great.’” And in one sentence, he lifted me, put me back on my feet, and taught me that leaders can let you fail and yet not let you be a failure.” -General Stanley McChrystal, TedTalk, 2011.
As McChrystal continues to speak through this TedTalk, one thing becomes apparent, that leadership is never the same each week, month or even 20 years into a career. With changes constantly happening, it can be overwhelming for even leaders to keep up with the changing and evolving times, but how can a leader stay credible and trustworthy even in the latest digital age?
Be transparent, listen and learn from your employees because leadership during crisis is not about being proud, but about letting it all out there while still holding trust. Here are ways to handle the ups and downs of leadership like a leader.
1. Take a step back
In moments of high stress and uncertainty, sometimes it is the best option to simply take a step back and evaluate yourself and the situation. At the moment, it can all be wrong and there is no outcome or solution in sight. However, it is imperative to understand that there is a solution or outcome that leads to a better outcome, but without removing yourself from the situation, you will not be able to have that clarity to make the right decision.
While this leadership during crisis method has to be done from the comforts of home offices and virtual meetings, it is important to mobilize an entire team and even company for those in management roles. This means having extra meetings with different departments to listen to concerns and understanding, absorbing and just listening if need be.
The stronger the ties between leadership and employees, the better that mobilizing them during a crisis will be. In the same sense, leadership during adversity and crisis means that employees have strong ties with one another, not only management. A leader should have their team set up for success to rely on one another in times of crisis if need be.
In moments of crisis, it calls for a moment to realign goals. Just as stepping away from the situation momentarily provides any clarity that was not coming to fruition at the moment, the same can be said about the art of realigning goals.
What was once one of the most important moments and goals in the company is now pushed to the side and other goals and notions are currently being handled first in these moments. What goals now matter? What needs to be solved first? What is on the horizon? Figure it out, make a plan and handle it.
If a company’s leaders do not handle the goals and priorities first, it can seem as if these leaders and the company does not care about the situation at hand.
In a moment of crisis, or over six weeks of virtually working, mistakes are bound to happen eventually. It is imperative to understand that this is all part of the leadership process and guiding employees through the process.
Take a moment, explain and move forward with ways to correct the said mistake. The last thing that needs to happen during the process is an employee feeling degraded or disrespected when tensions and frustrations are already on high alert.
At the end of the day, leadership during adversity and crisis is not something that business school, entrepreneurship or hundreds of company meetings can truly prepare any leader or management for.
What makes a strong leader is one who can handle the adversity roller coaster as best as possible and come out even stronger with a stronger team.
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