Being a leader takes courage and strength. Leading during uncertain times, however, requires a greater skill set and a renewed focus on team members when engaging staff in the workplace to keep them on track and inspired. Komosuke Matsushita (late founder of Panasonic) said, “It is during the bad times that the skilled manager lays firm foundations for future growth.”
The following are leadership strengths that can help navigate often tumultuous change when engaging staff to build for future growth. These strengths will be particularly useful in uncertain times while being strengths that create a well-rounded leader for all seasons.
Confident leaders acknowledge their mistakes.
Being a transparent leader willing to acknowledge and own his or her mistakes as well as successes can set the tone and culture in a workplace. When employees see there is transparency it allows them to work tenaciously without the fear of failure as they understand that together the team can resolve any issue that may arise. Embracing this leadership style is an effective way to engage staff in the workplace and gain the respect of your employees. The flip side of this is an environment with a pervasive fear culture that not only stifles creativity but creates an environment where mistakes are hidden, allowing problems to fester.
Strong leaders communicate purpose.
It is easy to get absorbed in the chaos of uncertain times where employees feel vulnerable and overwhelmed by concerns over the economy and business performance. Leaders who lead strongly and with confidence, are able to communicate their organization’s purpose and direction. The ability to communicate clearly is a key leadership trait that underpins a level of stability in an organization. As Sam Walton, the founder of Wal-Mart, said “Communicate everything to your associates. The more they know the more they care. Once they care, there is no stopping them.” If leaders communicate as much as they can during difficult times they build trust and facilitate employees taking ownership and staying productive despite the ambiguity of the time.
Effective leaders will inspire employee engagement.
Improving employee engagement in the workplace during unsettled times is critical as staff need to be invested in their work in order to create value – for themselves and the organization. When they feel valued they will be motivated and more dedicated, often exceeding expectations. Successful leaders communicate value, celebrate successes and demonstrate appreciation. Constant support and reassurance inspires employees and keeps them engaged.
Transparent leaders who communicate effectively and inspire engagement and productivity, are the type of leaders all organizations need. As leadership grapples with constant changes in technology, shifting economies and unstable political situations – developing your skills to handle change well and maintain employee engagement during turbulent times will set your organization up for successful transitions. LHH|Gulf works with organizations on employee engagement, developing leaders through executive coaching in Dubai and the Middle East and with leadership programs such as The Leadership Contract. We also partner with organizations to help them manage the change process. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more on how we can partner with you.