It’s not easy being a leader, particularly when tough economic times surface, and resurface over and over again in the USA and abroad. It’s well known that there are some key personality traits that leaders share, including a take-charge, can-do attitude, and above average business aptitude. However, the ability to survive through challenging times is oftentimes a rare quality that more leaders of today need to develop.
The good news is that it is possible to survive as a leader, even when the economy says other things about your industry or the work you do. Here are some tips for surviving intact as a leader in troubled waters.
- Planning Ahead. There are many reasons why some companies falter, while others stay the course during difficult economic times. Like the classic story of the ant and grasshopper, it’s absolutely critical to plan for rough times ahead. At the leadership level, this means evaluating your resources of supplies, people and future revenue to strategize a plan to take things through slow periods. Gather up resources when things are going well, and then you’ll have them when you need them the most. But use them wisely and sparingly so you don’t have to let things fall apart.
- Staying Positive. The hallmark of a true leader is the ability to motivate and inspire through a cheery disposition and great attitude. When others see you smiling and talking about the positives, they are more likely to follow suit. Instead of grumbling when the chips are down, your employees will be upbeat and focused on the good things that come out of a recession. Those who stick in there while your organization experiences difficulties are worthy of your respect, so never forget to thank those who you value the most.
- Having a Plan-B. Every business goes through ups and downs, but the soundest business has a plan to handle things in an effective way. Try to imagine different scenarios of what might happen if your company were to face tough times in your industry, and develop a Plan-B and even a Plan-C. Keep this in the back of your mind and communicate this to your team to give them the confidence that you have things covered. By dispelling the worry associated with change, you have already won half the battle.
- Accepting Change. While it’s true that a sagging economy brings with it change for industries and companies at all levels, it does not mean your business will fail. Nor does it mean you are failing as a leader. The upside of change is that it opens up a new era of thinking and better, more efficient ways of doing things as a leader. Use this time to learn new skills and become better at what you do. Accept this change and invite others to do the same. When people stand together in change, amazing things can happen as a result – and you will survive to see another prosperous time.
Take your leadership to a higher level when you attend a FREE Dale Carnegie course on leadership this year. Don’t wait for another economic slump to do this.