Leading in Times of Uncertainty

Whether you’re a business owner, team leader, or learning how to find routine while working from home with the kids, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, stressed, and uncertain. These are challenging times, and we’re all being impacted in one way or another by the current global pandemic. If you’re in a leadership role, it’s essential to be proactive and stay confident even when you’re not sure what happens next. 

One of the most important ways to find balance when you’re in a leadership position is to stick to a routine and take time for yourself.

“Just like on an airplane, you can’t help anyone else with their mask if you haven’t put yours on first,” says Annette Walter, Business Coach, and Entrepreneur.

“By carving out time to take care of ourselves –even for 15 minutes—we can reduce cortisol/stress levels, boost our immune systems, increase endorphins, and improve our self-confidence.” 

Leading during uncertain times can be difficult; here are ways to stay confident so you can motivate your team and lead them to success. 

How to Boost Morale and Increase Productivity  

Your team is looking for guidance during this time. While you may not know what happens next, communicate what you know and what you don’t know. 

Don’t be afraid to show emotions and let your team know that you are doing everything in your power to fight for them and their families. 

Listen to your employees, and focus on sharing positive wins with your team. 

“Hearing the positive things going on in other’s lives really does help boost morale and foster a sense of unity—whether it is personal or professional. In times of despair, we have to find even the smallest things to celebrate in order to find hope and optimism,” says Annette.

While your team is adjusting to working from home, keep it fun and flexible. Some employees might be dealing with homeschooling their children or still learning how to optimize their workflow while working from home. Understand that everyone’s situation is different and have honest conversations about what’s working and what isn’t. Be flexible with schedules. 

“By getting a sense of what each team member’s resource needs are and environments look like, we can better provide them with flexibility and the help they need to be productive,” she says. 

Surviving and thriving during times of uncertainty 

Many businesses have been forced to shut down or find new ways to do business. In these times of uncertainty, focus on strengthening your network. Work on improving your website’s SEO, updating old content, and adjusting your content strategy. Engage with your social media communities and ask questions about what your clients need. 

“By creating a loyal following, we can build lifelong customers; loyal customers will benefit businesses when they are able to open their doors once again,” says Annette. “It’s also incredibly useful to join and network with local and industry-specific business groups on social media platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook—share resources, brainstorm, commiserate, and perhaps use it as a referral source or be one for someone else.”

Trim expenses where possible and be willing to have transparent and honest conversations with vendors and clients. Do your research and take advantage of all the different relief programs available. 

“If you have clients who can’t afford your services in the same capacity, maybe you reduce your scope and fee instead of halting altogether,” says Annette. “Maybe that means developing a special payment plan or asking for modified rates from your own vendors.” 


While nobody knows what happens next or when things will return to normal, take time to be present, and focus on finding the best way to guide your team with confidence. Stick to a routine, listen to your employees, and take time for yourself each day. 

“In life, we shift and pivot, we learn, and we grow, and we make changes. I believe the changes we make now will be powerful as we come out of this, so my advice is to take time to be present and reevaluate your priorities and business plans moving forward.”