There’s no question that we’re living in …unique times. It’s foolish to assume that you’re living in the worst of times. Even Charles Dickens was smart enough to offset that sentiment with the idea that it was both the best and worst of times.
Still, there’s no doubt that business leaders around the globe are currently facing a special mixture of challenges. War is disrupting supply chains. The vestiges and repercussions of a receding pandemic continue to impact regulations and life, in general. Social unrest is steadily percolating up into business decisions.
Everywhere you look, the world is reacting to crises. That’s where strong leadership comes into play. Here are just a few of the most profound ways that a strong leader can help an organization survive and even thrive when it faces unexpected challenges.
It’s easy to tout the importance of company culture when everything is calm. Creating company vision statements and listing values isn’t difficult when everything is under control, as well.
When predictability goes out the window, though, non-tangible things like culture and values can quickly collapse in the face of mounting pressure.
A strong leader is able to maintain a healthy perspective of the value of a corporation’s vision and mission, even in troubled times. They can keep a long-term perspective in mind even as they tend to short-term crises and make decisions in the here and now. This can prevent wasted resources, preserve hard-won cultural values, and even protect things like a brand’s reputation (both with its employees and its customers).
Communication can be tricky in a remote-friendly world. Sure, we have plenty of ways to stay connected, no matter where we are. And yes, it’s easy to think we’re communicating since we are constantly tethered to our devices.
In the case of a strong leader, though, they manage to look past the actual act of sending and receiving communications. They work hard to master things like active listening, no matter what communication channel they’re using.
Strong leaders are also able to encourage healthy communication. For instance, it’s tempting to require employees to always be available. And yet, a confident leader knows that employees require deep work time to do their jobs effectively.
Therefore, a strong leader should be able to encourage their employees to turn off notifications and focus on deep work at times throughout the day — obviously balanced with other shallow work times when they can tend to communications.
In an article on LinkedIn published back in February of 2019, Brigette Hyacinth eloquently pointed out that “Leadership is not about being the best. Leadership is about making everyone else better.”
Hyacinth, who is the author of “Leading the Workforce of the Future,” goes on to add that you can see glimpses into a leader’s character in how they treat those who they think can do nothing for them. She also highlights key ways to demonstrate respect, such as:
The ultimate takeaway of Hyacinth’s words is that leaders aren’t competing against their employees. They aren’t apex predators at the top of the food chain, either. They’re servants who should show respect to those that they lead and work to bring the best out of everyone around them, no matter what the circumstances may be.
At Stanton Chase’s Los Angeles office, we love working with strong leaders. We’re experts with what traits and signs to look for when recruiting top-tier talent that must be able to lead in tough times. We take pride in ensuring that we place only the strongest and most insightful leaders into key roles at our clients’ companies.
“We’re experts with what traits and signs to look for when recruiting top-tier talent that must be able to lead in tough times.”
As the world continues to grapple with one crisis after another, it’s important that businesses invest in the future. This starts with building a strong leadership team that can do their best work when facing a challenge. We’re here to help you build that core group of individuals that can fearlessly lead your company into the future, no matter what it may have in store.
Peter Deragon is the Managing Director of Stanton Chase Los Angeles, and as Global Practice Leader of the Supply Chain, Logistics, and Transportation Practice Group, Peter is also active in the CFO Practice Group and financial services, where he started his career.