In Times of Crisis
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Volume VII - February, 2009 Issue
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Leadership In Times of Crisis
- New Tools, Resources & Ideas
- Wanted: Leaders!
- ALERT New Release! - The Life Story of Orison Swett Marden
- Reader Meter
Lessons In Leadership
In Times of Crisis
"Leadership can be thought of as a capacity to define oneself to others in a way that clarifies and expands a vision of the future."
- Edwin Friedman
Leadership during times of crisis is the ultimate test for any leader.
More than at any other time, when crisis hits, a leader must take action; get engaged and become highly visible to all team members.
A leader’s greatest challenge is in managing the fears, doubts and worries of the team. During times of economic, political or community crisis, it is the leader who others will look to for guidance, strength and reassurance.
When people look to their leader, and the leader is no where to be found, it only intensifies any existing feelings. Fear can quickly turn to panic.
What a leader says during tough times is certainly important, but of even greater importance is what a leader does. Behavior is always more believable than speeches. Leaders in times of crisis, walk the walk.
In order to maintain a loyal and product workforce during times of crisis, a leader needs to identify clearly what the concerns of the employees are.
An astute leader will ask questions such as:
- “What’s keeping my employees up at night?”
- “What would be the most meaningful thing I could do to alleviate the fears or worries of my employees?”
- ”Does my team have the knowledge, training and resources to pull through these difficult times?”
- What is in the way of my employees being fully engaged in our recovery and/or long-term success?”
Taking this one step further, why not take action and ask your employees some open-ended questions to get them more focused on being part of a grand solution?
Ask: “How can we create new revenue streams for the company and/or improve the level of customer service we deliver?
Do not make the mistake of thinking your goal as a leader is simply to “satisfy” your employees. That is definitely not the goal here. You need employees who are more than just satisfied. You want employees who are 100% engaged, loyal and committed!
Loyal employees will walk through fire for their leader and the organization. Satisfied employees will still leave you as soon as they get a better offer.
Economic crisis impacts everyone, no one is exempt. When the economy is in a downturn, jobs are lost and people get scared. As a leader you should talk openly about why it’s more important than ever that every single member of the team become as valuable to the organization as possible.
When people come to you asking if their job is at risk, answer them in a supportive yet clear manner.
You might say something like, “If everyone were indispensible to the company, no one would be at risk – so that should always be the goal of every employee, regardless of whether we are experiencing tough times or not. Make yourself invaluable to the team. I can’t tell you what’s going to happen in the future because I don’t know, but if we ever do have to cut staff, I will be the first to fight for those members of this team who I deem as our most highly productive and committed employees.”
Refer to this “take action” approach as the best job security program you could ever recommend, or just emphasize that it’s a smart career planning strategy.
An honest and credible leader will make no promises. He will be upfront as to what the challenges are and what is required of every member of the team.
Let your team hear from you often; let your own behavior set the example you expect your team to follow, and be the first to encourage others and recognize those doing great work.
Working together, your team will make it through the tough times and they will always remember it was you who led them through times of crisis, on to happier days.
"In times of change, learners inherit the Earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists."
- Eric Hoffer
New Tools, Resources, Updates & Ideas
"The only safe ship in a storm is leadership."
- Faye Wattleton
Our never-ending goal is to improve the amount of quality leadership-related content, tools and resources offered on our website.
It’s clear to me that many of you are highly knowledgeable and talented leaders. There is no doubt that many of our readers possess valuable insight they can share with the rest of us – it's easy, just click here.
With over 18,000 subscribers (growing at a rate of 150+ per week) and over 160,000 visitors per month, it only makes sense to start highlighting YOU as the creative and highly effective leader you are.
Your first opportunity begins now. We want to hear your ideas on who you believe are some of our greatest leaders. The leaders you choose can be historical, famous or completely unknown. Who do you admire, respect and view as the kind of leader you want to be?
You will begin the conversation by introducing the leader; explain why this leader has earned your respect and admiration; give examples of his/her leadership achievements and offer your personal assessment of the leader’s greatest strengths and achievements.
Now comes the fun part! Once your page is written, submitted and approved for publication, we will create a webpage to highlight your story – and we will also highlight YOU as the generous leader who submitted it.
We will announce your story to the rest of the Leadership-Tools community and invite our readers to comment on your page. People can agree or disagree, add their own opinions and debate others - so long as it’s all done respectfully.
Which leader has made a difference in your life? Pay tribute to that person by telling us about him/her. Click here to tell your Leadership story.
Alert - New Release!
The Life Story of Orison Swett Marden
Introducing.. our new audiobook, The Life Story of Orison Swett Marden.
You've already been introduced to the amazing book, "Pushing To The Front". Now, you can meet the man who wrote this timeless book.
No other man that I am aware of has lived his life in a way that more exemplifies the leadership traits of loyalty, persistence, bravery and charity. Orison Swett Marden, the Father of the American Success Movement teaches us inspiring lessons of leading an honorable life.
In The Life Story of Orison Swett Marden you will discover how you can take the knowledge of America's most influential philosopher and begin applying it to your life."
To access his story scroll to the bottom of the following page, Orison Swett Marden's Autobiography
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- H. Ross Perot
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