To become a great business leader, you must figure out how to not only lead people when things are going well but how to be an even better leader when things are going badly. No matter how much you prepare your business and your team, there is going to come to a point when things don’t go according to plan, and you must think on your feet. The true mark of a great leader is being able to lead when things are going poorly.
Communication plays a huge role in leading people, especially in times of distress. While you don’t have to discuss every financial detail with every person on your staff, making sure that every person that needs to know something hears it from someone in leadership creates a calmer environment. Inevitably, news of what is going on is going to get out within the company. The best way to keep a crisis from turning into a full-blown disaster is to address it openly and honestly.
Ask for Feedback
If you’re going to let your team know what’s happening, encourage them to share their feedback. If they’re not comfortable doing so in a public forum, let them know that they can come to you privately, and their input will be kept confidential but is valued. The members of your team may have a good idea that will help you navigate these times. Even if they don’t, you need to hear and address their questions and concerns. Those team members are the key to your company surviving this period.
You must help guide your team through the present; you have to do so with an eye towards the future. Without minimizing what’s going on in the moment, let your team know how the company is going to grow, evolve, and continue to be successful when a crisis passes. Sharing your vision with your employees is even more important when things are going badly, as they need to have something positive that they can look to.
Celebrate the Wins
No matter the size of the achievement, it should be celebrated. This is extremely important when your company is going through a difficult time. It’s easy to dwell on the things that are going wrong, which can result in low morale across the team and the business as a whole. Remember to break larger company goals down into more attainable SMART goals. Whenever you successfully achieve a smaller goal, celebrate the win! Not only does this help reinvigorate the team, but it also adds positivity to their work life and helps boost morale during tough times!
Hard times will come and go in the life cycle of a business, but having a great leadership team in place can help the company overcome the hurdles put in their way and help them continue to achieve great success.