The Leader’s Role in Times of Challenge

The last year was a new challenge for all of us. Businesses were implementing contingency plans to protect their team members and clients, and still do their best to keep their organization running. Leaders were working hard to continue to do business as usual when the business was “not”  usual. As a leader now you […]

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The last year was a new challenge for all of us. Businesses were implementing contingency plans to protect their team members and clients, and still do their best to keep their organization running. Leaders were working hard to continue to do business as usual when the business was “not”  usual.

As a leader now you may still be working with your people in person because you are in a critical industry or you may, like many, be continuing to work remotely from your home. As CEO of a facility services company, our team members were on the front line of defense against COVID-19 and worked tirelessly to keep facilities disinfected and safe to help prevent the spread of the virus. At the same time all of our offices across the northwest were shut down and we had been forced to work and communicate remotely. I am grateful for the technology that allowed us to interact virtually and for all of the companies that are helping each other to keep moving forward.

In turbulent times we need courageous leaders.

Immense challenges will happen from time to time that threaten to paralyze us. When this happens, the leader’s role is to be courageous. Showing strength and courageous leadership in a time of uncertainty will be the best support you can provide to your team members, your business and your families.

Being an entrepreneur for over 26 years, I have been through my share of business ups and downs, and leading my company and teams through them. Each one has posed different challenges however one thing is always the same. Uncertainty always creates fear, and fear leads quickly to panic. In one challenging time in our business we had one of our largest customers go bankrupt. As it was a large source of business it quickly stopped work and the regular cashflow we enjoyed dried up quickly. It was a scary time to be a business owner, and admittedly, I found myself in a state of panic – it was difficult to look to the future when I was wondering how to make next week’s payroll. This is a dangerous mindset, especially for those in leadership roles.

A courageous leader is a shelter in the storm.

We need to have the courage to make bold decisions, often despite our fears, to be the eye in the storm for our teams and businesses. Being a strong leaders doesn’t mean we won’t be afraid, in fact, fear is a normal emotion that comes with growth and change. The difference is a strong leader will step up and into the challenges that come their way and equip their team members to do the same.

In your life, where do you need to roll up your sleeves and dive into the muck? You have an opportunity somewhere to be courageous. Leadership like this will be catchy. Not only will you see significant progress in your organization when you show courage, others will be inspired to do the same.

“The only time a man can be brave is when he is afraid.” – George R.R. Martin

“It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause.” – President Theodore Roosevelt

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