Business leadership in a time of crisis differs from everyday leadership. That’s well known. “How?” is not though. The biggest “how” exists in the employee’s mind and heart.
The Mind And Heart In A Crisis
Severe, unexpected, unplanned change makes up a crisis. Most times urgency does too. That means intense uncertainty strikes. People fear that. It paralyzes them.
Fear makes thinking harder. It stifles creativity. It raises the stakes. As a result, making decisions becomes tough. Too much risk exists.
Thus, employees will act more cautiously. They won’t speak up or act on their own as much. They’ll seek more direction.
Business Leadership In A Time Of Crisis
For these reasons, in crises people turn to their leaders. That’s why huge opportunities exist for those willing to lead at these times. That means displaying confidence, decisiveness and command. Since most crisis have an urgent component to them, moving quickly works too.
Making decisions is more critical than the right decisions. Remember, uncertainty knocks. Chance of making the right decision declines. That means investing time to seek it returns less.
Therefore, adapting becomes key. Change becomes constant as new info turns up. Small steps work better than big ones. Quick ones better slow ones.
Excelling In Crises As A Business Leader
Excelling in business leadership in a time of crisis means impacting employees’ minds and hearts. So, the question becomes how to adapt and change quickly to do that. The key entails remembering that it’s not so much about what is done. Rather it’s about what is said and how.
For example, the theme becomes a form of this:
Here’s what we’re going to do. . . . But, keep your eyes open. Tell us what you’re seeing. We’ll adapt, so be prepared to make changes. That’s the plan. As for your specific role, listen to your managers. We’ve worked (or will work) with them on this. They’ll speak with you after this. We’ll get through this. Just stay alert and communicate.
Crises need good communication. Yet, communication does more too. It reduces anxiety too. It calms as long as managers practice good active listening.
Yes, a good, quick attack plan plays a role. Yet, in the end, it’s more about what employees are thinking and how they’re feeling. Excelling in business leadership in a time of crisis means conveying certainty in the face of uncertainty.