Your Crew Needs You
These days, being a leader is harder than ever. Every organization, large and small, is feeling the effects of the economy on people’s pockets, emotions and health. Undoubtedly, if you are in any sort of leadership position, you witness it. Whether you are the head of your household, an officer in your REALTOR Association, a company manager or CEO, or the chairperson of a a committee of some sort, you feel it. Stress levels are high right now and your challenge, in addition to seeing the organization through the inevitable change that economic realities bring, is to see your people through to the other side of this seemingly endless but definitely temporary storm, in one piece and ready to embrace all the good that the future holds.
Every leader has their own style and possesses certain strengths and weaknesses that affect how they lead and the decisions they make. There are certain characteristics that all leaders should possess, but we all have distinct and unique gifts that we rely on in our interactions. Some of us are people people, who shine when the chips are down by listening, comforting and hand-holding those they support. There is a great deal to be said for truly relating and empathizing with people’s problems. Others are more analytic types who evaluate situations and present facts and information in an effort to help people wrap their minds around realities. The goal here is to empower the ranks with a sense of perspective. Ideally, leaders will combine these approaches in a way that effectively galvanizes and instills confidence in those they lead.
Buoying Spirits & Navigating Rough Waters
After all, the worst part of the tough times is the fear it sometimes inspires in people. Fear of the unknown, fear of change, fear of facing obstacles alone, all kinds of fear rears its ugly head in times like these. Alleviate the fear and magic can happen. Embolden those you lead with a sense of having a plan and being in control (read this article for help with that!). Keep a positive attitude to help restore others’ confidence. Yes, it may be challenging to do this when our own fears threaten our personal comfort, but do it we must for the sake of those looking to us for cues.
That is not to say that we need to pretend everything is peachy. Your credibility as a leader is contingent upon you being in touch with the realities faced by those throughout the organization. Don’t be afraid to show a glimpse of worry now and then. Being real, along with assurances that ‘we’re all in this together,’ can lift the spirits of your group. It is times like these that strong leadership inspires deep loyalty and trust throughout an organization. And when times get better you will reap huge rewards.