Leading in turbulent times

“All of the great leaders have had one characteristic in common: it was the willingness to confront unequivocally the major anxiety of their people in their time. This, and not much else, is the essence of leadership.” — John Kenneth Galbraith

Leading an organization in turbulent times takes work. It requires a unique set of skills and the ability to endure discomfort. In moments of challenge and upheaval, leaders must remain calm, confident, and strategic while engaging and inspiring their employees.

Here are a few suggestions for leading an organization through turbulence:

Embrace Adaptability: In a rapidly changing world, leaders must be able to adapt to new circumstances and adjust their strategies accordingly. They must be willing to embrace new ideas, technologies, and processes. And have the courage to let go of things that no longer work. They must balance the need to be agile and fast while still being thoughtful in their approach to decision-making.

Communicate Clearly and Frequently: Effective communication is essential in times of uncertainty. It helps to build trust and maintain stability. Leaders must communicate a vivid, compelling vision and strategy and provide regular updates on the organization’s status. Additionally, leaders should be transparent about the organization’s challenges and be willing to listen to feedback and suggestions from their employees.

Foster a Culture of Psychological Safety: Under challenging times, leaders must foster a culture in which team members are encouraged to contribute their ideas and concerns. This can be achieved through open communication, where people feel safe to speak with candor. The leader must model how to deal with difficult situations and welcome critical feedback.

Prioritize Employee Well-being: The well-being of employees should be a top priority for leaders during turbulent times. This includes providing support and resources for employees who may be struggling and promoting a positive work environment. Leaders should also be mindful of the impact of stress and burnout on employees and themselves.

Make Data-Driven Decisions: In a VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous), leaders must rely on data and analytics to make informed decisions. This means analyzing market trends and data, tracking key metrics, and making decisions based on evidence and facts rather than just gut feelings or instincts.

Maintain a Long-Term Focus: While it is essential to address immediate challenges, leaders must also maintain a long-term focus. Focus on a clear vision and strategy and make decisions that will position the organization for success in the years to come.

Leading an organization through turbulent times requires a combination of adaptability, clear communication, collaboration, empathy, data-driven decision-making, and a long-term focus. By prioritizing these qualities, leaders can effectively navigate their organizations through uncertainty and change and emerge stronger on the other side.

John Spence

John Spence

John Spence is widely regarded as one of the top executive coaches and business experts in the world. Over the past 15 years John has helped several credit unions to ... Web: johnspence.com Details