Most of today’s population has never seen a social shift this seismic in their lifetime.
Lockdown on a global scale has forced everyone to redefine normality. Emergency crises are the ultimate test for any manager in proving leadership skills. As a result, it is more important than ever that business owners and leaders alike know how to succeed.
This article guides you through what makes a good leader.
Qualities of a Good Manager and Leader
First of all, it is vital to recognise the qualities of a good manager and leader. The chances are that, as a seasoned manager, you likely already have the critical skills needed to excel in a crisis.
It is no surprise that all the finest qualities in a successful leader are expressive and emotive. Honesty, motivation, and vulnerability are some of the skills that nurture success in the workplace.
Still, acknowledging you have these skills in your toolbox is only half the process. A gift of its own is understanding how to relate these existing skillsets in an emergency situation. Those who are willing to adapt, succeed where others fail.
Flexibility and Authenticity Provide Stability
The most important of any leadership quality in a crisis is the willingness to adapt to change, and providing that flexibility. Likewise, a great leader should be willing to adapt. Standing by principles is also powerful and valuable. This balances honesty and integrity with an open-minded approach, so employees feel heard and respected.
For example, in a GDPR breach, a good leader will stick to a robust moral code of privacy and involve other employees in the improvement process.
It is no surprise that employees of the most outstanding leaders are respectful in a crisis. These leaders identify as those who provide the perfect balance of principles.
Communication and Presence Bring Reassurance
One of the biggest reasons for failure in a crisis is a lack of leadership. And in the majority of cases, a lack of presence and communication are the reasons.
This is of course why most companies assign a second-in-command should a leader be absent for reasons out of their control. In any case, being available 24/7 is enough to build trust in a team.
Lack of presence also results in a lack of communication. Even if you are a present leader, the lack of flexibility and willingness to communicate only results in more failure. Most employees prefer direct contact for speed and accuracy.
Vulnerability and Compassion Engage Respect
In uncertain times, the primary emotion that resides in all employees is fear. If an employee is fearful for the future a great leader will encourage communication between different parties, and show vulnerability where needed.
It may be that tension is between two or more team members, in which case a great leader flexes into a facilitator role. Likewise, if the fear is directly related to the company or leadership itself, a great leader will listen with an open door. It is vital in these times that the leader allows themselves to guide the business in the right direction whilst acknowledging others’ views.
Times of crisis often provide the largest building blocks for developing a better future. Employees confide in a great leader because that leader knows how to bring out the best in them. A great leader believes in their team.
Curiosity and Optimism Drive Morale
A curious mind is often the one that turns a negative into a positive. And with that comes an optimistic philosophical approach to engaging the team through unexpected times. For their reasons, employees will present themselves as fearful and ask questions about the unknown. A curious leader will take these questions and expand on them. These questions given by the employees can, with the right mindset, provide many new ideas and answers never seen before.
A great example is the number of leaders who realise that it is possible to run a business from home due to Coronavirus lockdown. Companies that stemmed around face-to-face interaction realise that, given the tools, their teams can work in an independent manner, attend video meetings and still communicate via business-tailored message boards.
Good leaders use curiosity to drive inspiration and optimism to engage the team in finding answers.
A Good Leader Knows When to Act
A leader may have all the above skills, but a good leader knows exactly when to execute them. A great leader also knows how to learn from their failures and accept their existence.
Skill execution is most important during a period of uncertainty. For example, it’s always good to be optimistic in principle. But without taking time to reflect on the situation and understand the end goal, many misconstrue optimism as naivety.
Many employees can see through a facade. They need a leader who will listen and ease their concerns, not brush them under the carpet with business jargon and preconditioned responses. Likewise, if a leader refuses to listen to employees and express their concerns, their morale, efficiency, and trust levels deplete.
Instead, most people would prefer an honest, justified answer than a flat-out dismissal of their opinions on the matter.
Every Leadership Quality Relates to Every Other
As essential as these qualities are in a good leader, it is clear they are worthless without the right balance, mix, and understanding.
A leader should support a team through uncertainties and ensure their leadership quality continues throughout the business’s ups and downs. In doing so, they can relax knowing the company is better prepared for whatever uncertainty comes at it in the future.
For more expert advice, book a free call today and inspire your way to successful leadership.