LEADING IN TURBULENT TIMES | LEADERSHIP IN A CRISIS | LEADERSHIP SKILLS
Being a manager requires authenticity, flexibility, and also empathy. In a crisis. These will be even more necessary. Your direct reports are going to be stressed, your business is going to be facing new challenges and the world at large could be well different. The real test of leadership does not occur when everything is smooth sailing. Rather leadership is tested in a crisis.
Some of this information's come from research and some are from speaking with leaders of various industries. Our leadership talks are also going to be launching soon, so you want to keep an eye out for those, right. Let's launch into the tips.
1. TAKE CARE OF YOUR SELF FIRST
Most of us who used to travel for business can pretty much recite the airplane warnings from scratch, and one of the main things is fit your mask before you help others, even your own children. The same can be taken in leadership in a crisis. They're going to be taking their cues on you, and if you're being anxious and stressed, your team is going to feel it. So you need to make sure that your personal needs are being met.
Make Sure You Exercise, Practice Mindfulness, and Talk to Your Mentors
Whatever you need to do to be able to present calm for your team. Look, everybody's human and it is okay to tell the team that you are feeling stressed, but you need to make sure that you've got the right support in place for you to make sure that you can provide this right support for others. Vulnerability is a strength, not a weakness.
Pinpoint Your Core Need
Is it getting things done and a feeling that things are moving forward? Is it a sense of control that you need with all these new constraints? Do you want to just make sure you can get things done that, that you have power over or is it connection at the moment with social distancing and working from home, I know there's a sense of size, solution isolation and now the time you might want to watch our video on how to be productive when working from home, the links below if you haven't seen it yet, you need to take care of yourself to be able to project honesty and confidence.
And these are two of the most important things that a leader can do, especially in times of a crisis. During a crisis, everyone's going to be looking to their leaders for not only next steps but also for reassurance. And if you're projecting unease that uneased transmits to everyone else, much like a contagious disease.
And you know what? We don't want any unnecessary spreading at this time. Your team needs someone that they can rely on, not someone that they need to reassure. Think of it as mentally washing your hands.
Confidence and Honesty
Confidence, as I said, it's not the only thing you need to display. Honesty is key as well. While the urge to state everything's going to be fine is going to be overwhelming at the moment. It's really important as leaders to be realistic, you need to be able to find that balance to tread when you're stating the magnitude of a situation and being reassuring.
Regular face to face time is really important right now, so having one on ones with your team despite these changing schedules is going to be really important to make them feel like you're available to for them to be heard. However, you don't want to force them to talk. Shout out to the introverts that there, some people might not want to talk about the truck crisis or how it's affecting them or how they're feeling, but offer people the option for that connection as long along with the space that they need next. Remember for your staff, they might have a different set of core values and the one that you've identified for yourself at the moment, we're all different and we're all all living with different circumstances. It's crucial to remember that and also adjust your support to make sure that it's specific for each member of your team.
For those people who are having a particularly rough time, you might consider pairing them with someone in your team who's doing it well and maybe has more resources to draw on. Maybe having those two people collaborating on a project together, having them check in on each other's mental health daily or even uh, having them hold each other accountable might actually work and make things a bit better for that person.
3. CONSISTENCY FOR MEETINGS
It's important to get consistency for meetings.
Verne Harnish from the growth Institute teaches about the importance of not only the structured weekly meeting that most businesses do, but also exposes the benefits of a daily huddle. And team rituals are going to become more important at this time.
So maybe start your team meetings with a collaborative game, a quick dance or fitness activity. One CEO that I actually spoke with this week said to me, I actually have more visibility on what my team we're working on on a day to day basis now than I did when we were all working in the same office.
How to Keep Your Team Motivated When Working Remotely
I found a fantastic article by the Harvard business review entitled how to keep your team motivated when working remotely and it recommended the following meeting systems for those who are managing remote teams and that's Monday. Hold the performance meeting that covers the following things like what impact did we have last week? What did we learn? What are the commitments that we've gotten in the next seven days? Who's on point for each? Prioritizing the goals and um, helping each other to make sure that you've got the right people doing the right things to ensure that the outcomes are achieved.
You also want to use that meeting to decide if you're going to run any experiments this week and who's on points for each of those from Tuesday to Thursday, the Harvard business review recommended doing your one-on-ones with each individual and to help motivate your employees and help them tackle challenges that might be a slight stretch for them. During this time, you could also coordinate small group meetings in which employers can collaborate and tackle problems together for Friday. They recommended that to be a focus on reflection, showcasing what the project teams have been up to and also the outcomes for the week. This might include presentations from the project groups in which the team members share their metrics and insights and it's also important to check in on each other's motivation and progression as the leader. You need to set the example by asking people how they are feeling, what they struggled with, and how their motivation is going and point out where anyone's thriving.
In addition to this structure, adding the quick daily huddle as recommended by Verne Harnish, we'll hopefully see productivity actually increased during this period as we saw after the GFC. It is possible for teams to adapt and grow and it is possible for teams to freeze under pressure and recede, make it your mission to achieve the former and achieve greater levels of growth and productivity as a remote team than you did as an in person team. This is a challenge that can actually keep you energized long after this crisis is over.
4. FOCUS ON OUTCOMES
During the crisis, people are less likely to be productive and focus well and also many people at the moment have kids at home or having to feel that Juul role of being a worker and also a school teacher. So having clear and measurable goals as expected outputs for each member of your team in priority order will help your subordinates to know how to prioritize and what to prioritize should the day start to get away from them.
In a few of our courses, we actually teach you how to build success profiles, which define real job outcomes in terms of smart goals. These are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic timeframe and the environmental factors that a person might face. That's literally having these smart goals for each member of your team and in turn they can do that with their teams, will help everybody know what to focus on. You need to develop these first and then use the meeting structure that I mentioned in the aforementioned point.
5. MOMENTS OF GRATITUDE STAY
You'd need to make time for moments of gratitude and stay positive. One of the best books I've ever read was the happiness advantage by Shawn ACOR. One of my old bosses, old bosses and mentors was an avid reader. He used to give me a new business to book to read almost every week.
Some of them I labored through and some of them were an absolute pleasure to read. This one was possibly my favorite. It's a must-read for anyone trying to Excel in a world with increasing workloads, increasing stress and negativity. The happiness advantage at its core is about how to reap the benefits of a happier and more positive mindset to achieve the extraordinary, you know, work and also in our personal lives.
Sean himself studied psychology at Harvard and he founded good think inc and also the Institute for applied positive research. He's one of the most popular Ted talkers, so even though at this time there's plenty of time to be reading books, maybe start by watching some of his Ted talks. They are absolutely fantastic. He is great. The premise of the book, the happiness advantage is that we're taught incorrectly. We're taught that once I get a great job, once I get married, once I lose weight, then I'll be happy.
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