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Leadership in uncertain times

  • Publish Date: Posted about 5 years ago
  • Author: Gill Bell

As we swing from week to week with no more clarity around Brexit, uncertainty within businesses across all industry sectors is increasing and employee confidence is wobbling.   So how can we lead through these uncertain times?  No one knows how this will play out in the short or medium term - everyone is crying out for some direction and certainty. 

Two critical leadership requirements to steer through troubled waters are:

Through active process of developing new habits, you can acquire or enhance these skills - which will increase your ability to perform under pressure or to simply live a better quality of life despite the uncertainty.

Firstly – recognise if you’re a leader in panic mode – typical features are:

  • Knee jerk reactions
  • Denial of how things really are
  • Setting expectations too high
  • Being erratic - not sticking to the plan
  • Trying to do it all yourself – or micromanagement of others
  • Focussing on actions rather than leading the vision

Secondly - don’t catastrophise – connect with your problems and find alternative solutions

  • Maintain perspective
  • Reframe experiences in a positive way
  • Imagine a more optimistic picture of the future
  • Work out what you can and cannot impact.  Focus on the things you can change.
  • Maintain a network of supportive peer relationships.

Build self-awareness

  • Take time for self-reflection
  • Seek feedback from those around you
  • Ask for support and help
  • Collaborate with others – we’re in this together
  • Work on your emotional intelligence, consider how you can support your staff

Develop a positive mind-set and nurture your own confidence before you nurture others

  • Remain intellectually curious – strive for personal growth through webinars, training courses, learning events
  • Set yourself some targets with meaningful and realistic goals and objectives
  • Balance work with leisure
  • Indulge yourself with exercise and relaxation

Finally - think longer-term – build loyalty

  • Stay very close to your staff
  • Show empathy by communicating that you care for your people. Build up the emotional bank account.
  • Get your staff involved in problem solving with you.
  • Own the successes together and celebrate achievements.

Remember, nothing is more certain than change – this is a temporary situation. 

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