A great leader can make their people believe in the mission, inspiring them to do and be their best and see it through. But keeping a united front is easy to do when things go as planned. It’s those tough times that really show the effectiveness of a leader, whether they command an army, a company, or a country.
When leaders are faced with seemingly-impossible obstacles, it’s all too easy to become hyper-focused on the problem at hand to the exclusion of everything else. However, fear and anxiety only grow in the face of the unknown. Leaders must remember to keep communicating — to employees, stakeholders, and the public. This means creating backup modes of communication should the first fail.
Of course, there is such a thing as too much communication, and communication can fail if leaders do not say the right things.
One of the best things that a leader can do for his people in times of strife is to encourage and inspire them, even as they experience loss. Leaders who appreciate the sacrifices made by their people and who would make those same sacrifices themselves are the ones that people show up for day after day.
Although we cannot be prepared for every hurdle, preparation can prevent some bumps in the road from becoming full roadblocks. Whatever battles a leader expects to fight can be made that much easier with preparation, and leaders can keep their heads clear when relying on established protocols. Of course, wise leaders realize that training cannot prepare you for every situation, but it prevents you from being completely unprepared.
Use Resources Wisely
Part of preparation is acquiring the resources that you will need or making the connections that will provide those resources when the time comes. It’s not enough just to have access to resources, however. Leaders must deploy those resources, which requires them to recognize when the situation calls for them. A leader who gathers resources but never uses them makes tough times even harder for employees and partners.
When a leader remembers their humanity, it’s easier to follow the advice on this list in the face of adversity.